Respiratory diseases affect the lungs and airways. The most common types of respiratory diseases that afflict seniors are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension.
Respiratory diseases are chronic and tend to become progressively worse. In America, 14.8 million adults suffer from COPD, and 25 million suffer from asthma. Since 1980, the prevalence of respiratory diseases has increased. COPD now ranks as the 4th leading cause of death. Most forms of respiratory disease, such as COPD, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension, are preventable.
Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause in most cases. Unfortunately, many respiratory diseases lead to lung cancer. The American Cancer Society states that over 154,000individualsare estimated to die from lung cancer in 2018. It remains one of the leading causes of death among men and women. The average age of a lung cancer diagnosis is 70.
Respiratory diseases make everyday activities difficult. Prescription medications can help improve lung function, but most are only effective for a limited time frame. This is because as time progresses, respiratory diseases become worse and less manageable. Many sufferers require oxygen to do any type of physical activity. Sufferers of respiratory diseases such as COPD have good days and bad days. Episodes of extreme symptoms can last for a few days and are called exacerbations.
Respiratory disease sufferers suffer from numerous impairments:
Performing day-to-day activities becomes difficult with respiratory diseases. Often, just getting out of bed is virtually impossible. These physical impairments and weaknesses make a sufferer more prone to accidents such as falling. In the event of an emergency, calling for help using medical alerts becomes a life-saving benefit. If a sufferer should be unable to catch their breath and make a discernible phone call, then signaling for emergency assistance using medical alerts is a priceless benefit.
Symptoms of respiratory disease vary each day. During periods of exacerbations, the symptoms may be severe and render the sufferer virtually immobile.
Symptoms of respiratory disease:
A respiratory disease sufferer can live life without medical alerts, but certain precautions should be followed to maintain daily safety.
The feeling of not being able to breathe and receive adequate oxygen is not only scary but physically uncomfortable. Sufferers never know when their symptoms may worsen and they may need to call for medical assistance. Medical alerts provide immediate access to life-saving services that could prove invaluable to the sufferer. Although many sufferers consider medical alerts a precaution that they may never use, the peace of mind that the service brings in the event of an emergency is often priceless.