How to identify lung disease in the senior ?

Lung diseases can affect the whole world and present a variety of causes. What lung diseases affecting, however, the more senior workers ? Who to consult and what best practices allow you to protect yourself ?

Pulmonary disease : definition

Pulmonary disease, as its name indicates, it touches a part of the lungs. The condition can affect the lung tissues, the circulation of the blood within the lungs or the pleura (thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs). The symptoms are usually cough, respiratory failure, or sputum, and can win the general condition of the patient (fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, etc). So that a lung disease has often an important impact on the physical health of seniors.

The different lung diseases

Among the lung diseases that tend to affect older people include :

  • asthma, chronic inflammation of the airways, manifested by difficulty in breathing and a sensation of oppression on the chest. If the asthma remains benign in most cases, it can become disabling in the senior. It is more common in women over the age of 50 ;
  • bronchitis is a lung disease common which affects exclusively the bronchi (virus, bacterium, or fungus). As with any form of lung infection, older people are particularly vulnerable ;
  • pneumonia is an infection of the lung that affects the pulmonary parenchyma (bronchioles and alveoli). The pneumonia virus can have serious consequences on the respiratory system of the elderly. The most dangerous are the hospital-acquired pneumonia, hospital-acquired, because antibiotic-resistant ;
  • the flu, a lung disease that affects upper and lower respiratory tract, is of viral origin. Highly contagious, it can evolve into epidemics within facilities, comprised of seniors. These are very sensitive : the rate of influenza infection is 6.17 % in their case, compared with 1% for the rest of the population. Beyond 65 years, 1.8 % of hospital admissions are due to influenza risk ;
  • pulmonary tuberculosis : chronic cough, sputum, fever, significant fatigue, loss of appetite and weight are its symptoms. The elderly often suffer because of a BCG vaccination, old ;
  • lung cancer : 25 000 new cases are revealed each year in France, and 27 000 deaths. This cancer, which affects the bronchi, continues to kill many men, and especially among the seniors. It is mainly due to the consumption of tobacco.

Who should you consult ?

In the case of lung disease, it is appropriate to consult a pulmonologist, a specialist in diseases of the lungs and airways, or even a pneumo-allergologist in the case of asthma. For a disease like the flu, a general practitioner may, however, be sufficient.

The good practices to adopt

To avoid any lung disease, it is for seniors to adopt or continue some of the good practices :

  • avoid smoking and breathing other people’s smoke ;
  • combat the germs with the right gestures (washing hands regularly, covering the mouth and nose during coughing and sneezing) ;
  • pay attention to the quality of the outside air ;
  • eating properly (malnutrition of older people can lead to a loss of immunity and open the way to a lung disease).

And of course, practice a physical activity ! This also allows to avoid the diabetes, the cholesterol, theinfection osteo-articular, incontinence for seniors, heart disease, diseases rights to gastroenterology, diseases of the vision, hearing problems , and different types of cancers to senior citizens.

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