It’s Allergy Season: Five Ways to Help Seniors with Seasonal Symptoms

March 30th, 2017 by John Wilson

Most people look forward to the newness of spring. Flowers bloom, trees regain their leaves, the temperature is comfortable and out of a gloomy winter emerges a colorful, happy new season. People who suffer from seasonal allergies may love all of the wonderful aspects of spring, but they also feel a sense of impending doom knowing the pollen will soon be out in force.

Sneezing, coughing, itchy noses and watery eyes are no fun! Unfortunately, they’re a rite of springtime passage for millions. For seniors, allergies can make existing medical issues worse. Here are five ways to help them survive allergy season.

Look for Alternatives to Usual Antihistamines

The most common way to treat allergies is with antihistamines. Unfortunately, these drugs aren’t always safe for seniors. Taking them is associated with a great number of side effects, including dry mouth and eyes, dizziness, confusion and water retention. Additionally, they can have dangerous interactions with prescription drugs many seniors take. Safer options include nasal steroids.

Discuss the Pros and Cons of Allergy Shots with Your Doctor

Allergy shots have proven to effectively provide relief from hayfever and other seasonal allergies. Physicians who are focused on seniors’ more serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and more, may not address allergy symptoms. If your loved one is suffering frequent symptoms, make sure to raise the issue with his or her doctor.

Allergies can affect even healthy seniors.

Even healthy seniors may suffer from allergies.

Ask Your Doctor If New Treatments are Available

Allergies afflict millions of people each year, including otherwise healthy seniors. Researchers are hard at work trying to identify new treatments. Be sure to ask what the latest drugs are and talk to your doctor if your previous medications are no longer working.

Help Your Senior Loved One Find Alternatives to Outdoor Activities

Time spent outdoors is usually beneficial to seniors. However, on days with high pollen and allergen counts, it’s best to stay inside. The local weather forecast typically warns of allergen counts during the height of allergy season. When readings are severe, stay inside. One of the benefits of many of the assisted living options in OKC is they include libraries, fitness centers and game rooms so seniors have plenty to do indoors.

Keep Allergens Out of Your Loved One’s Living Space

If your loved one resides in assisted living care in OKC, talk to the staff so they’ll know to take extra care to keep dust and allergens at bay in your loved one’s apartment by vacuuming and dusting regularly. Also, make sure all windows stay closed for the duration of allergy season to keep pollen and other microscopic allergens out.

Many physicians also recommend using a humidifier during the height of allergy season because breathing in dry air irritates the nasal passages and encourages the body to create mucous. Talk to your doctor to find out if a humidifier is a good idea for your loved one.

If you are taking care of aging parents and would like to learn more about senior care services in OKC, contact us at Village at Oakwood. Our facility represents the best in assisted living care in Oklahoma City. We love what we do and it shows!

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