What do I need to know about managing asthma in seniors?

Seniors with asthma may have other chronic breathing problems as well. This is likely with smokers. Seniors may need a trial period of medicine to see if any of their symptoms can be reversed. Some asthma medicines can make other problems worse, like heart disease or osteoporosis (weak bones). Medicines a senior takes for another health problem may make an asthma condition worse. For example, taking aspirin for arthritis or beta blockers for a heart condition can make asthma worse. A doctor needs to know all the medicines a senior is taking at all times.

To learn more:

Asthma in Older Adults
(Asthma Initiative of Michigan)
This website from the Michigan chapter of the American Lung Association gives the symptoms of asthma in seniors and gives tips on how they can treat it.
Asthma and COPD: Differences and Similarities
(American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)
This article defines COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and explains how it is like and unlike asthma. It also explains how some seniors have asthma with COPD and how they are treated.

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Written by: Lillian Trettin, Ph.D.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Sunday November 03, 2019 7:32 PM