Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a disease which makes breathing more difficult as the illness progresses. It affects more than 12 million people in the United States. It is mostly associated with wheezing, shortness of breath, excess mucus and tightness in the chest. The symptoms can be very scary for someone unfamiliar with the disease because it can seem as though an elderly person is choking when they are not. Many elderly people develop COPD, particularly those who smoked or where around smokers during their lifetime. Since smoking bans have only recently be adopted nationwide and smoking was very common 40 or 50 years ago, COPD is prominent among today’s elderly population.
In order to help your loved one manage COPD, it’s important to understand the sign and symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is a consistent cough that doesn’t ever seem to get better or worse. Usually the couch comes with a lot of mucus and is often referred to as a “smokers cough”.
Shortness of breath is another symptom of COPD. If your loved one is out of breath from walking up stairs or other minor activity, then they may be suffering from COPD. Wheezing along with shortness of breath is another pretty obvious sign. You may also see your loved one clutching at their chest because COPD causes a tightness which can be uncomfortable.
Since COPD is a progressive, it generally gets worse as time passes. These symptoms may start out very minor, but they can grow to be seriously debilitating. It is very possible for those with COPD to live happy and healthy lives. Having a company that specializes senior home care in West Palm Beach, FL like Always Best Care.