Lung health is a crucial factor in aging well and enjoying a good quality of life into a patient’s senior years.
There are four chronic lung issues that can have a significant impact on your lungs as you get older.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is actually a collection of lung disorders, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that make breathing difficult. Other symptoms include a persistent cough, wheezing, and a sensation of tightness in the chest.
Pneumonia is a common infection that inflames the lungs and fills them with fluid, obstructing normal breathing. It is especially dangerous for seniors because older people tend to have weaker immune systems and can’t fight off the infection as easily.
Asthma is another chronic condition that obstructs breathing. It typically presents as frequent episodes of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.
Congestive Heart Failure
Heart health is closely connected to lung health, which makes congestive heart failure a significant factor in respiratory issues. When the heart stops pumping blood effectively, it leads to fluid buildup that can make its way to the lungs.
How to protect the lungs and keep them healthy with age
A healthy lifestyle and good habits will go a long way toward protecting the lungs so you can stay healthy and active throughout the golden years.
1. Avoid smoking
For many smokers, it’s never too late to quit. Although there may be some irreversible lung damage if a patient has been a smoker throughout their life, quitting can slow down the negative impacts and help them stay as healthy as possible.
2. Exercise regularly
Working out is a great way to strengthen the lungs. Regular exercise trains the lungs to open more completely and prevent the muscles in the chest from atrophying.
3. Eliminate pollutants in your environment
Dust, candles, artificial scents, pet dander, and more can all have a negative impact on the lungs. As much as possible, keep the home free of these pollutants and make sure that the home has proper ventilation to keep the air circulating.