The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Pneumonia is primarily caused when the alveoli, or the microscopic air sacs of the lungs, become inflamed or swollen. For the elderly, particularly those suffering from a lung disease like COPD, a bout of pneumonia can be very serious and should be given immediate attention. Listed below are three ways in which pneumonia can be dangerous to seniors with lung disease:
- Fall-Related Injuries – Confusion or dizziness are symptoms of pneumonia and can cause physical traumas due to a fall-related injury. When already physically debilitated by a lung disease, the addition of pneumonia can greatly increase the danger of such an injury with seniors. These physical traumas cause great damage for the people, their families and even to their finances by causing additional medical expenses.
- Weakened Immune System – One of the main causes of pneumonia is often a weakened immune system. For many seniors, pneumonia is a staggering sign that their immune system has diminished its virus and bacteria-fighting capabilities. Also, those who are bedridden, or have a limited ability to be physically active, have a higher risk of contracting pneumonia.
- Less Likely to Respond to Treatments – Senior citizens are often faced with chronic diseases such as heart disease, COPD and diabetes. When faced with pneumonia, treatment for chronic illnesses can often be less effective due to a weakened immune system caused by the pneumonia. Furthermore, in an attempt to treat the pneumonia as quickly as possible, it is easy to pay less attention to the existing chronic illness, thus causing further complications.
For seniors with lung disease, pneumonia should never be taken lightly and should always be addressed by immediate medical attention. Besides prevention, a healthy diet and daily exercise are strongly recommended as well. For more information, please contact your primary care physician.
Article written by SeniorDirectory.com