For people of all ages, the treatment of asthma involves recognizing asthma triggers, understanding your asthma treatment, knowing your asthma's early warning signs, and communicating on an ongoing basis with your provider. However, seniors with asthma are more likely to have other health problems, including high blood pressure or heart disease. Because many of the conditions often experienced by seniors require medication, there is an increased concern about drug interactions between asthma medications and drugs taken to treat other conditions. Unfortunately, a drug taken to treat one condition can actually make another condition worse.
For this reason, it is particularly important that your providers be aware of all your health conditions and all the medications you are taking. Many people have more than one provider involved in their treatment, so it's a good idea to make a complete list of all of your conditions and the medications used to treat those conditions, and to give a copy of the list to each of your healthcare providers. Also, keep a copy of that list with you at all times.
The importance of regular communication with your provider cannot be stressed enough. If you experience any problems with a medication, be sure to ask your provider if one drug might be interacting with another.
Another special consideration experienced by older people with asthma is that many seniors are smokers. Smoking makes asthma and other lung problems worse, so if you smoke or live with a smoker, your risk for lung and breathing problems increases. Ask your provider about a smoking cessation program. You can do it!