How to Deal with Pneumonia in Seniors

People over the age of 65 encounter many health complications some of which are difficult to recover from. The reason for difficulty in recovery is the presence of underlying chronic illnesses and a weakened immune system. Pneumonia in seniors is one of the leading causes of death. This is much so for dementia patients because this condition goes unnoticed in most cases due to asymptotic characteristics. Since seniors are unlikely to report the feeling associated with pneumonia, physicians may not be able to diagnose the problem correctly or in time.

Pneumonia in seniors is indicated by lungs inflammation when they are infested with bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. The inflammation is due to the accumulation of pus as the body defense mechanism battles with the foreign matter. It is challenging to deal with this disease in the elderly most of the patients eat less nutritious food and have sedentary lifestyle. Pneumonia and other opportunistic conditions are favored by such factors.

The major risk factors for the development of pneumonia are all encompassed in the situations surrounding old age. Generally, once you are past the age of 65, pneumonia risks rise drastically. However, age is not the only contributor as diseases, environment and behaviors play a significant role too. Smoking, for instance, is understood to hamper the immune system thereby creating ground for pneumonia infections. Underlying diseases that attack the defense system also contribute to the prevalence of this condition.

The effects of AIDS and cardiac diseases make the body vulnerable to pneumonia attacks. Pneumonia in seniors could also be caused by after-effects of medical procedures that weaken the immune system, for example chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. The elderly should stay away from dangerous chemicals and pollutants present in industrial and agricultural surrounding as these too can lead to pneumonia.

Due to the condition being asymptotic in seniors, it is vital to be keen when deriving the pneumonia symptoms. For viral pneumonia in seniors, some of the symptoms to expect include body weakness, blue lips, dry cough, Myalgia and the common fever. If it is bacterial expect to observe fever, short labored breaths, intense sweating, and pronounced shivering due to chills, mucosal cough and delirium. For the less common forms of pneumonia abdominal problems and weight loss may accompany some or all of the symptoms in other forms of pneumonia in seniors.

Of all the instances of pneumonia in the elderly, the patients in the hospitals appear to be the most vulnerable. And why is this? Remaining inactive for long is a major cause of these cases. This is coupled with the fact that the medical procedures in hospital may make breathing too hard a task for the elderly patient. If the senior patient can be made to do simple chores such as walking around, the lungs can function normally and clear any coughs.

Whichever form of pneumonia is developed by the elderly, the key to proper treatment is quick diagnosis and treatment. For example if the problem is bacterial pneumonia, antibacterial chemotherapy should be administered promptly and correctly. Since pneumonia in seniors is difficult to diagnose according to symptoms, the trick is to rely on the mental alterations of the patient. For suspected community-acquired pneumonia infections, conduct a chest radiograph immediately to determine other underlying conditions as you confirm the diagnosis. Sputum smears may be time consuming and unnecessary as elderly pneumonia patients are unlikely to produce adequate amounts of the sample. Looking at all the remedies for pneumonia in seniors, prevention appears to be the most appropriate solution. Although the elderly exhibit reduced cell-mediated and humoral immunity, it is prudent to administer a pneumonia vaccine.

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