Respiratory conditions are relatively common across all age groups – something that cold and flu season comes along and reminds us of every year. Unfortunately, there are other factors that can contribute to respiratory issues, making disorders that affect breathing among the most commonly diagnosed medical problems.
Respiratory conditions and diseases can range in severity and affect individuals in different ways. In many cases, these types of conditions require an extensive course of care. It’s important to be aware of the most common respiratory conditions and why treatment sometimes requires specialized respiratory care – especially in older adults.
What Is Respiratory Care?
It’s estimated that 1 in 7 adults who are middle aged or older are affected by lung disorders, including COPD, asthma and chronic bronchitis. Ignoring the symptoms of respiratory conditions can lead to a myriad of complications, and if left untreated can cause an urgent situation that requires hospitalization. While some conditions require nothing more than time and rest, others will need to be treated through additional respiratory care.
A thorough respiratory care plan begins with diagnostic measures to ensure that an appropriate, effective treatment plan is developed. Diagnostic procedures might include breathing tests, simple blood tests and X-rays. These tests are performed to make sure you’re getting the care you need, but also to help you avoid unnecessary treatments.
The type and severity of respiratory disease you have will influence the treatment plan that is developed for you. Adhering to your care plan and attending all of your appointments is crucial for recovery or maintenance of your condition.
Which Respiratory Conditions Require Specialized Care?
As mentioned, not every respiratory illness will require a care plan, but it’s important to speak to a medical professional even if you feel that your condition is relatively minor. Certain respiratory illnesses can quickly spiral into more serious conditions if left untreated. If you’ve been diagnosed with one of the following conditions, you’re likely a good candidate for respiratory care.
According to the CDC, asthma affects nearly 20 million adults and 6.2 million children in the United States. Asthma is also responsible for 1.7 million emergency room visits every year.
Asthma is a chronic disease that can manifest at any age and be triggered by a number of causes, including allergens, a genetic predisposition and exposure to irritants or air pollutants. An asthma attack can quickly progress to an emergency situation. Respiratory care is important for keeping flares under control and for helping patients learn how to manage their symptoms.
With the severity of influenza in recent years, the general public has become more aware of preventative measures, including vaccines. Still, many people tend to underestimate the severity of influenza or associate it more with the “stomach flu” and fail to recognize the real symptoms which include often include respiratory weakness. Respiratory care can help alleviate lung and breathing issues associated with influenza, reduce the chances of complications and improve recovery time.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term used to classify a group of progressive lung diseases, such as emphysema, irreversible asthma and chronic bronchitis. The progressive nature of COPD means that respiratory care is a critical component for disease management.
Untreated respiratory conditions can affect your quality of life and compromise your overall health. If you’re suffering with a disorder or disease that affects your breathing, we’re here to help. Contact Princeton Health Care Center today and let’s start talking about a respiratory care plan for you.