When certain elderly persons suffer from asthma, then its treatment or management can be very challenging. This is so because older patients have a poorer perception of their asthmatic condition of the symptoms when compared to the younger persons. Moreover the suppressed recognition and the tolerance of the symptoms also contribute to the increase in morbidity in older asthma sufferers.
Another reason why older patients may face difficulty in asthma management is because they have problems in utilizing prescribed medicines. This could be because of the mechanical difficulties in using the inhaler. The following are some of the asthma treatment guidelines for the elderly:
- One of the first asthma treatment guideline while treating elderly is to control the dosage or usage of inhaled corticosteroid. This is because elderly are more prone to the side effects of bone damage as well as bruising the skin. Moreover corticosteroid which is taken orally poses even more of a risk for those who have weaker digestive systems.
- Taking beta2 agonist can also have side effects on the health of elderly. Some of the symptoms of this include cardiac arrest in case of those who have already had a heart condition. Older people are also not capable of bearing the side effects of beta2 agonist.
- Older people suffering from asthma may sometimes need to stop beta blocker medication and rather opt for a selective agent. Beta blocker medications are prescribed for those who are suffering from illness such as migraine, hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia. These beta blockers in the lung calm the layer of the muscle in the bronchial tubes.
- Elderly patients with asthma must also avoid environmental triggers such as tobacco smoke as well as the other airborne triggers to which the patient is sensitive.
- It is very important for older persons to have a regular follow up visit with the doctors. This must be done atleast once in one year.
- Adverse asthma reactions from those medicines which are related to polypharmacy are more in the case of elderly as compared to that in younger people. Thus it is important for older persons to ask what all other medications are available.
- Patient education is very important for elderly patients in order to handle every situation or condition of asthma or attacks.
- PEF monitoring done on a regular basis is also a useful asthma treatment guideline for elderly persons.