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Any upper respiratory infection in elderly individuals can negatively impact their health and wellbeing. That’s why it’s essential to prevent the diseases and treat them promptly when they occur. So, if you notice that your senior loved one has a runny nose, sore throat, and is coughing, it could be a sign of an upper respiratory infection.

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Older adults aged 65 years and above are more prone to respiratory infections than younger people. Unfortunately, the conditions can make your senior loved ones uncomfortable when not treated promptly. Some of the infections can even result in death. Thankfully, we share tips to help prevent and treat the diseases.

Types of Respiratory Infections

Knowing all the types of respiratory infections can help you make a correct diagnosis and find the best treatment for the condition.

Here are the common respiratory infections you need to know.

  • Seasonal Influenza: This infection is characterized by fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, coughs, sore throat, and coughs.
  • Bacterial Pneumonia: This can result from different bacterial strains. The lungs get accumulated with fluids, and inflammations can cause fever and chest pains.
  • Common Cold is caused by viruses like human rhinoviruses (HRV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV). Symptoms are a runny nose and sore throat.
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): This condition is characterized by cold-like symptoms and can cause death and hospitalizations in older adults.
  • Coronaviruses: COVID-19 belongs to the family of coronaviruses. This infection can cause coughs, fever, and fatigue.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Finding the best treatment for a particular respiratory infection starts with a correct diagnosis. A doctor must first analyze a patient’s condition and run a few diagnostic tests, including CT scans and X-rays. After diagnosis, the doctor prescribes the correct treatment, usually antibiotic and antiviral medications.

Preventing Risk of Infection

You already know that preventing infection is better than curing it. So, here are some of the ways to avoid a respiratory disease from setting in.

  • Wear a mask when in public
  • Wash your hands more often and correctly
  • Get a flu vaccination for pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19
  • Clean and disinfect the surfaces that many people touch frequently

Protecting Your Older Loved Ones From Respiratory Infection

An upper respiratory infection in elderly individuals can affect their upper respiratory tract. Since older adults are at high risk of developing respiratory tract infections, you need to protect and give them the best medical care. Otherwise, the respiratory system can fail and bring health complications. Consider assisted living services for your elderly loved ones to ensure they’re in a safe and healthy environment.

Connect with us to learn other tips to prevent respiratory illness in seniors.