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    Asthma in Older Adults: Managing Treatment - Topic Overview

    Diagnosis and treatment of asthma can be a challenge if you are age 65 or older. You might have another medical condition that masks your asthma. Or you may be more likely to have side effects from asthma medicines or be at risk for reactions from the different medicines you may be taking.

    To treat your asthma, you and your doctor should work closely together, especially if you:

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    There are usually reasons or risk factors that predispose you to asthma and respiratory problems. Asthma can happen to anyone without any risk factors, but it is less likely if there are no risk factors present. Let's look at some asthma risk factors and see how they increase the chance that a person will have the asthma symptoms of cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath associated with the disease. After determining your personal risk factors for asthma, decide on the ones you can control and...

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    • Have a history of smoking or have long-term respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which can make it hard to diagnose asthma.
    • Have one or more other health conditions that can make asthma symptoms worse and complicate treatment, including sinusitis, heartburn, or heart failure. Some conditions, such as osteoporosis, can become worse when you use asthma medicines. Your doctor may prescribe asthma medicines that avoid making other medical problems worse and that interact the least with other medicines you may be taking.
    • Have trouble performing lung function tests, which can make diagnosis and treatment more difficult.
    • Have trouble using inhalers properly.
    • Don't always remember to take your medicines.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: /2, 14 1
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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