3 doctors weighed in:

Elderly relative with breathing difficulties. Do lungs get tighter or smaller as people age?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Siegel
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

The lungs do get "smaller" with age and lose some of their elastic recoil (ability to deflate with exhalation) but age alone should not result in breathing difficulties.
It would be advisable to determine smoking history, other medical problems and evaluate with chest xray, breathing tests oxygen level and work to regain their breathing capacity when cause is determined.

In brief: Yes

The lungs do get "smaller" with age and lose some of their elastic recoil (ability to deflate with exhalation) but age alone should not result in breathing difficulties.
It would be advisable to determine smoking history, other medical problems and evaluate with chest xray, breathing tests oxygen level and work to regain their breathing capacity when cause is determined.
Dr. Stephen Siegel
Dr. Stephen Siegel
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