Pulmonary Embolism and Aging Can Be Connected If Not Diagnosed  

Is there any connection with pulmonary embolism and aging, or can this very dangerous condition attack anyone at any time.

The answer to this question, just like many of the questions with aging and medical conditions, is both yes and no.

The no answer is because it can and does attack men and women at any age.

However, the yes answer is also very applicable, because many of the potential risk factors will affect the vast majority of us once we pass the 55 year old mark.

But there is one very important fact about this condition; it can be very, very dangerous if it is not caught and “properly diagnosed.”

The Connection With Pulmonary Embolism and Aging Centers on One Term

The connection with pulmonary embolism and aging will all center on the very important term; “if it is properly diagnosed.”

Here is perhaps the scariest and most troubling aspect about this condition.

It is estimated that about 40% of all people that develop it, either have it misdiagnosed, or never take it seriously.

Because of this, they will not survive its potentially deadly attack.

However, if it is “properly diagnosed” this percentage drops dramatically, and this alone makes the connection all that more important.

Here are the most common symptoms we can watch for.

  • A sudden, almost out of nowhere, shortness of breath
  • Sudden and very sharp chest pains
  • These chest pains get worse when we try to cough
  • The development of a “pinkish mucus”

These are not the only early warning signs, but they are very, very telling, and if ignored, is the major reason it goes undiagnosed.

It Is Easily Mistaken For a Heart Attack

The sudden and sharp chest pains can often be mistaken for a potential heart attack of some kind, but the “pinkish mucus, is the real giveaway.

As we all get older, especially if we have ever been a smoker or had pneumonia, we are all very familiar with mucus.

However, it will never be a “pinkish” color, and if it is, you should run—not walk, to your doctor.

The reason is simple and it is why pulmonary embolism and aging may have such as strong connection, as this is what is happening to our lungs.

Here is what is occurring.

  • We have developed a blockage in our lungs
  • This is the result of one of our pulmonary arteries becoming blocked
  • In most all cases, a blood clot or clots have developed in our legs
  • It has broken free and traveled to our lungs

This condition may also be caused by a blood clot breaking away from another part of our body, but this is extremely rare.

Four Friends Jogging TogetherFour Friends Jogging Together

More Warning Signs

There are even more warning signs with this potentially very dangerous condition and they include the following.

  • A slow developing leg pain—very, very telling
  • Swelling in our legs, especially by or near the calf area
  • Excessive sweating followed by a sudden fever
  • Becoming dizzy or very light-headed

These second set of conditions can occur before, after, or at the same time as the first set.

The reasons these symptoms are developing is because of two things happening; our blood pressure in our lungs is high, and the right side of our heart rate is high.

While the vast majorities of the blood clots that break away are very small and do very little damage to our body, they can and do affect our lungs.

So what increases our risks and why is there a real connection with pulmonary embolism and aging.

Here are the major risk groups

  • Being inactive for long periods of time
  • Becoming obese or way too heavy
  • Sitting in a car or plane for long periods of time
  • A recent surgery
  • Several different diseases that are more common with aging

As we all get older, especially as we pass the 55 year old mark, we fall into most of these risk groups.

Effect of Age on Pulmonary Embolism

If we have had any type of illness or surgery, we will be confined in a bed for a while and may not be used to it.

As we get even older, this increases more and more.

Some of us as we age have not kept in the best of shape, and being obese or even 20 pounds over our ideal weight, increases our risks.

While most of us have driven or flown a lot during our careers for long periods of time, it never used to bother us.

However, with each year we add, it becomes a bit more challenging.  Once we stop and get up and walk, our legs hurt or feel like they are dead.

Here are more facts to consider in the connection with pulmonary embolism and aging.

  • How many times, just in the last year have we noticed the travel issues
  • How many times when we stop driving for long periods do our legs hurt
  • How many of us face challenges with cancer
  • How many of us have slight heart conditions

All of these add to our risk factors of developing this very dangerous condition, and we need to not ignore the warning signs.

It Can Be Successfully Treated

No one knows our bodies like we do, and if we are having any of these symptoms, especially with pains in the legs, do not ignore them.

It may not be just aches and pains, as it might the signs of something much more sinister.

The good news, if we get it properly diagnosed, is that it can be treated very successfully.

Here are the most common treatments.

  • Blood thinners
  • Clot dissolvers

The connection with pulmonary embolism and aging next turns to the treatments, starting with blood thinners, also referred to as “anticoagulants”.

This form of treatment helps to prevent any new clots from developing, and is generally injected in our veins.

They act very quickly, and are often used with conventional oral forms, for a one-two punch.

However, in the last few years, another form of this treatment has been introduced called “NOACs”.

These oral treatments act much faster than the older conventional forms.

Clot dissolvers can be extremely dangerous, as they can cause internal bleeding, and are only used now for life threatening situations.

References

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pulmonary-embolism/home/ovc-20234736

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