These diseases may be underdiagnosed and overlooked among seniors, who often develop them later in life.
As we get older, we expect to experience changes in our body commonly associated with aging such as thinning bones, hearing and vision loss, and arthritis. What we don’t expect is the onset of allergies and asthma. These are usually thought of as childhood diseases. However, allergies and asthma are commonly diagnosed for the first time in people who are 65 and older.
More Americans than ever are suffering from allergies, ranking this condition as the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, according to the National Academy on an Aging Society. Each year, allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient office visits, primarily in the spring and fall; seasonal allergies account for more than half of all allergy visits, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that 50 million Americans (that’s 1 in 5 Americans) suffers from allergies. Asthma affects more than 25 million people in the United States.