Hepatitis C is an infection that affects someone’s liver.
With medications and the assistant of Intrepid Home Health, people can manage symptoms and live a normal life, even if they have hepatitis C.
Education about the disease and home health services can help someone live normally.
Learn About What Hepatitis C Is
Hepatitis C, also known as just Hep C, is a viral infection. Once someone contracts it, they experience inflammation in their liver. In some cases, liver problems lead to serious liver damage.
Two types of the Hep C virus exist. Type I is the one most common in North America and Europe, but some people do develop type II. These two genotypes spread throughout the world, but other genotypes cause a majority of infections in areas like Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
In many cases, even loved ones may mistake a person’s hearing loss for memory loss or dementia due to the consistently poor communication.
Symptoms of the Hepatitis C Infection
Usually, hepatitis C doesn’t cause any symptoms, making it a “silent” infection.
When it does cause symptoms, it’s usually many years after a person contracts it. And by this time, the virus already started damaging the individual’s liver.
Acute Hepatitis C
Acute hepatitis C only lasts for a short period of time, usually two weeks to three months. In some people, it goes away during the acute phase. Hepatitis C only causes symptoms in about 25 percent of cases, but when or if it does, you may experience:
- Muscle aches
Chronic Hepatitis C
Chronic hepatitis C causes symptoms that arise as a result of the virus damaging the liver. For instance, a person might bruise or bleed easily or feel fatigued frequently.
Other possible symptoms include the following:
- Itchy skin
- Decrease in appetite
- Weight loss
- Dark-colored urine
- Yellowing of your skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Abdominal fluid retention
- Slurred speech
- Spider-like blood vessels on the skin
What Causes a Hepatitis C Infection
Hepatitis C spreads from person to person through contaminated blood, and it only takes a small amount of blood to spread it.
Intravenous drug use is actually the number one cause of hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C can also spread from a mother to a child during childbirth but usually doesn’t pass from a mother to an infant while nursing.
Although it’s not common, it’s possible to develop hepatitis C from sexual intercourse. This happens in about one to four percent of cases.
If you had a blood transfusion before 1992 or received an infected liver during a transplant, you could develop it.
Some people even contract it from getting a tattoo or body piercing in a facility that doesn’t practice proper infection control practices.
Reasons Hepatitis C Is on the Rise in the Aging Community
Baby boomers, which are people born between 1945 and 1965, are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than any other age group.
One reason is because researchers didn’t know it existed until 1989, so people were contracting it and never knew they had it. Not to mention, they didn’t test for it until 1992, so it’s possible that a baby boomer contracted it from a blood transfusion or organ donation. The sterilization procedures weren’t what they are today, so tattoo parlors spread the disease.
The virus doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stages. People may contract it and live for years, or even decades, with the disease without knowing it. A person may not notice symptoms until they’re a senior aging, and he or she may just start experiencing symptoms of the liver damage.
Today’s Treatment Options for Hepatitis C
A person with hepatitis C struggles to eliminate the virus naturally, which is why the disease usually becomes chronic.
Fortunately, because the number of people living with hep C is increasing, advances in treatment for hep C are changing the standard course of action, making drugs like interferon a treatment option of the past. Therefore, receiving treatment doesn’t cause as many side effects as it once did.
Today’s treatments don’t build up your immune system to fight the infection on your own. Instead, the latest treatments ward off the virus, usually with a pill you take once or twice per day.
For instance, Velpatasvir is a medication you take once per day and causes fewer side effects than traditional treatments. Sofosbuvir is another option. People with type I, IV, or V may take it once per day.
Why Choose Home Health Care for Hepatitis C Treatment
Unfortunately, if people have hepatitis and it goes untreated, they can end up with scarring on their liver that possibly inhibits the liver’s ability to function. In some cases, the scarring is so severe it causes liver failure.
Having symptoms from hepatitis affect your quality of life, but home healthcare from Intrepid can help. You receive a high level of care that makes living with hepatitis bearable. You receive home healthcare that improves your quality of life, along with expert advice along the way.
Home health professionals may interfere when they notice your condition worsening in order to ensure you receive the best treatment for your needs. If you’re receiving outdated medications, health professionals through our home healthcare agency can help you get the best treatment for you.
By obtaining senior home health services, you get someone to manage your medications, so you never have to worry about missing a dosage of your vital medications.
Senior home health allows people to come to your home and help you with daily tasks if your condition progresses or you have other issues that could decrease your quality of life.
Scheduling for someone from Intrepid to come to your home to provide senior home health services could change your life, especially if you suffer from hepatitis C.
Intrepid USA provides individualized senior home health care, private duty, and hospice services to over 21,000 patients each year. Their motto “do the right thing” reverberates through everything they do. Contact Intrepid USA today to learn more about how their broad range of services or schedule a consultation.