Bronchitis is a common respiratory problem which can affect people of all ages, but is most common in older people.
Bronchitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the smaller airways in the lungs, leading to increased mucus production and coughing. In most cases, bronchitis is caused by a viral infection of the respiratory tract. However, bacterial infections can also cause bronchitis, and the condition may also be caused by long-term exposure to substances such as dust or chemicals.
The symptoms of bronchitis include coughing, wheezing, chest pain, fever, and a sore throat. These symptoms may be accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and a feeling of weakness.
In the elderly, the immune system is often weaker, which is why the rate of hospitalization is higher among the elderly. The elderly also have a higher chance of developing chronic bronchitis, which can lead to pneumonia. However, with rest, senior home care and adequate nutrition, many cases can be treated at home.
How to Prevent Bronchitis in the Elderly
Elderly citizens are more susceptible to contracting bronchitis because their immune system is not as strong as it used to be.
Most cases of bronchitis will clear up within a week. However, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible. Consider taking the following steps to help to prevent the condition:
1. Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is important at any age, but it is especially important if the elderly have had bronchitis. To do so, make sure the elderly brush their teeth at least twice a day, floss once a day, and use a mouthwash, such as Listerine, once a day.
Mouthwash with chlorhexidine can be prescribed to reduce the risk of getting bronchitis again.
2. Avoid Cigarette Smoke
If the elderlyis a smoker, they should try to quit. If they are unable to quit, help them avoid exposure to cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke can be just as damaging as direct smoke.
If the elderly have had several episodes of bronchitis, you may want to consider changing their diet. If they have had bronchitis, consider eating a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins C and D.
4. Reduce Their Exposure to Dust and Pollutants
Dust and other airborne pollutants can aggravate bronchitis, it is important that the elderly reduce their exposure to these substances.
You should also keep the room well-ventilated and if possible, they should try to avoid dust and other airborne pollutants.
A Word From Our Experts
Bronchitis can be a very uncomfortable condition to live with, so it is important to make sure that the elderly are managing their symptoms to the best of their ability. The following tips can help your loved one breathe easier:
- Make sure your loved one is drinking enough liquids to stay hydrated.
- Encourage your loved one to rest when they are sick.
- Provide your loved one with the medications that their healthcare provider has prescribed.
- Make sure your loved one is cleaning their hands frequently, especially when they are sick.
Senior home care can help your loved one stay healthy and safe. Call us today and review your options!
If you or someone you know needs help with Senior Care in Comstock Park, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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