Active Senior Living

Simple strategies to help fend off disease and illness and promote an active, independent lifestyle.

When Should You Worry About Your Cough?

heidi Active Senior Living Comments Off on When Should You Worry About Your Cough?
Dozens of conditions can cause a recurrent, lingering cough, but the lion’s share are caused by just five.

Dozens of conditions can cause a recurrent, lingering cough, but the lion’s share are caused by just five.

Lots of things can trigger a cough, from smoke and dust to allergies and the common cold. In fact, a cough is actually an important player in the body’s defense against disease.

Coughing expels mucus, microbes, and foreign particles from the respiratory tract, protecting the lungs from infection and inflammation.

The chronic cough

Everyone coughs, and nobody worries about an occasional cough. Many acute illnesses — ranging from hay fever and the common cold to bronchitis and pneumonia — produce recurrent coughs. But the cough that accompanies acute illnesses resolves in a matter of a few days to a few weeks. In contrast, a chronic cough is variously defined as one that lingers for more than three to eight weeks, sometimes lasting for months or even years, according to Harvard Medical School publications.

Chronic coughing is common, so frequent that it rates as one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor.

What causes chronic coughing?

Smoking is the leading cause. Sooner or later, most cigarette smokers develop a chronic “smoker’s cough.” Chemical irritation is responsible — but the same noxious chemicals that cause the simple smoker’s cough can lead to far more serious conditions, such as bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, and lung cancer. The chronic cough is always a cause of concern for smokers.

A lingering cough is also a worry for nonsmokers. Fortunately, benign problems are responsible for most chronic coughs in nonsmokers.

Dozens of conditions can cause a recurrent, lingering cough, but the lion’s share are caused by just five:

1.Postnasal drip

2.Asthma

3.Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

4.Chronic bronchitis

5.Treatment with ACE inhibitors, used for high blood pressure.

Many people have several of these conditions, but in nonsmokers, the first three, singly or in combination, account for nearly all chronic coughs.

When to worry about a cough

Although a chronic cough is usually not serious, the warning symptoms call for prompt medical care:

  • Fever, especially if it’s high or prolonged
  • Copious sputum production
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite
  • Chest pain that’s not caused by the cough itself
  • Night sweats
  • Wheezing

Read entire article here.

 

 

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5 Heart Attack Signs In Women

heidi Active Senior Living, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on 5 Heart Attack Signs In Women
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely to experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely to experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Every minute in the United States, someone’s wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to the American Heart Association.

More than one in three women is living with CVD, including nearly half of all African-American women and 34 percent of white women. Although heart disease death rates among men have declined steadily over the last 25 years, rates among women have fallen at a slower rate.

Heart Attack Signs in Women

1.Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

2.Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

3.Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

4.Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

5.As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away, reports the American Heart Association.

 

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CDC: Physical Activity Necessary For Healthy Aging

webby Active Senior Living, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on CDC: Physical Activity Necessary For Healthy Aging

One of the best things you can do for your health as you grow older is to take up some form of regular exercise.

For optimum health try to include both aerobic and strength training in your exercise routine.

For optimum health try to include both aerobic and strength training in your exercise routine.

Exercise can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age, as well as strengthen your muscles so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.

Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all, but your health benefits will increase with the more physical activity that you do.

If you’re 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions you can follow the exercise guidelines listed below for better health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Older adults need at least:

2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week to work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week to work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

More time equals more health benefits, reminds the CDC.

For information on the various forms of aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activities, go here.

Also read how David, 65, and Harold, 67, meet the exercise guidelines and have become healthier since taking up exercise.