Bronchitis and Seniors in Boynton Beach
Bronchitis is a respiratory condition that can have particularly serious implications for seniors in Boynton Beach and throughout Palm Beach County. This is why the elderly who suspect bronchitis need to pay attention to their condition and seek medical attention from a primary care physician if the symptoms worsen or are prolonged.
The tubes that bring air to the body are known as the bronchi, with one bronchus leading to each lung. The inflammation of these tubes is known as bronchitis, a condition that is itself divided into two categories:
Acute Bronchitis usually lasts no more than about two weeks and may go away on its own. Often caused by either a virus or an infection, the condition can be aggravated by exposure to secondhand smoke or even air pollution.
Chronic Bronchitis can last for years and is one of the serious consequences of smoking. It can also lead to more serious problems, especially in the elderly. The symptoms of bronchitis include the following:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Expelling of mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Treating Bronchitis in the Elderly
The symptoms of acute bronchitis can often be treated through the use of a vaporizer or humidifier, which can help reduce congestion, and by consuming something hot, whether it be soup or tea.
A fever can usually be relieved through over-the-counter medications. In cases of chronic bronchitis, antibiotics can be administered if there is a strong suspicion of a bacterial infection. The avoidance or discontinuation of smoking at a younger age is one of the best ways to prevent chronic bronchitis later in life.
Seeking Medical Attention
Bronchitis is more serious in senior citizens in Boynton Beach and across South Florida because their lungs have often become degraded from the effects of aging and because their immune systems are less able to resist secondary infections. One in 20 cases of bronchitis will develop into pneumonia, which