Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition that affects millions of people. Different conditions can contribute to COPD, but the most common contributors are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. There are treatments available for the condition, so it’s important that older adults receive a diagnosis.
If you suspect your aging relative may have COPD, below are 5 signs and symptoms that you should know about.
#1: Cough That Won’t Go Away
Coughing is a common sign of COPD and usually one of the first older adults experience. The cough comes from the chest and doesn’t go away. It’s the body’s attempt to clear the lungs. The cough must last for 2 or more months to be considered chronic.
#2: Feeling Short of Breath
The “obstructive” in COPD means that the airways in the lung are narrowed. That makes it hard for air to get through them, causing shortness of breath. When COPD starts, the senior might only experience shortness of breath when they exert themselves. However, it usually gets worse over time. It can lead to the person being less physically active, which makes their health worse.
#3: Excess Mucus
The body needs mucus because it keeps airways from drying out and also traps germs that could cause lung infections. With COPD, the lungs produce more mucus than needed. The excess production is usually because of something the person has been breathing in that irritates the lungs. Smoking is a common reason for excess mucus production.
Feeling tired all the time, even after resting, can be a sign that your aging relative has COPD. The fatigue is caused by the body not getting enough oxygen. In addition, it takes more effort for the senior to draw air in. The exertion involved in breathing can make the senior feel tired.
#5: Bluish Tint to Lips and Fingernails
The bluish tint that can occur with COPD is called cyanosis. It’s a sign that the blood doesn’t have enough oxygen in it. When blood has enough oxygen, it is red in color. However, when there is a lack of oxygen, blood is more of a dark blue color.
If your aging relative has COPD, home care services can assist them to live a better quality of life. A home care services provider can help them to follow the doctor’s advice for managing the disease. Home care services providers can remind the older adult to take their medication. Home care services providers can also allow the senior to rest when they are feeling fatigued because the provider can take care of things around the house, cook meals, answer the phone, and bring the senior things they need.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Santa Rosa CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
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