4 Warning Signs of Radon Poisoning in Older Adults

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In 2012, Health Canada released a report stating almost 7 percent of Canadians live in homes with unsafe radon levels. Radon poisoning can increase the risk for lung cancer, are there are some telltale signs a senior has been exposed to too much of this dangerous gas. Mississauga, ON, in-home elder care professionals discuss a few warning signs to watch for

1. Recurring Respiratory Infections

Families and caregivers in Mississauga, ON should be especially wary of any ongoing respiratory infections in seniors. Long-term exposure to radon results in damaged lung tissue, but these infections can be caused by any number of serious medical problems. Seniors who continue to have breathing issues should immediately contact a local HVAC company to have their home’s air quality tested. 

2. Chest Pain

One of the reasons radon is so dangerous is because it is impossible to detect without professional equipment. Many people do not know they are being exposed to radon until they develop unusual health problems such as ongoing chest pain. As a general rule, seniors should immediately schedule an appointment with their doctor if they have unexplained discomfort near their heart or lungs. When radon begins to damage the soft tissue, it often results in throbbing and tightness around the chest. 

3. Coughing Up Blood

Much like chest pain, blood in the mucus should never be taken lightly. Seniors should immediately visit the emergency room if any blood comes from their mouth or nose. It is especially important to contact a medical professional if other signs of lung cancer, such as hoarseness or dizziness, accompany the blood. Upgrading the home’s insulation and sealing up all cracks can reduce a senior’s risk of long-term radon exposure. 

4. Migraines

Many older adults spend a great deal of time inside, which is why their home’s air quality should be tested regularly. Migraines can occur whenever the brain is flooded with any foreign chemicals, including radon. Other signs of a respiratory infection, such as coughing and wheezing, often accompany radon-induced headaches. A radon mitigation specialist can help families install active or passive systems that physically expel radon particles from the home or trap them in filters.

For more information on radon poisoning and how it impacts elderly health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to our high-quality respite and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive post-stroke, Parkinson’s, and dementia home care Mississauga, ON, families trust. To learn more about our senior care services, please call (905) 337-1200 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a free in-home consultation.