There’s nothing quite so nice as a warm, spring day after a long, cold winter. Unfortunately, with all the sunshine and flowers comes pollen from blooming trees and grass. For many, spring allergies can ruin this wonderful time of year. For seniors, allergies can be doubly troubling, but these tips can help them enjoy spring by minimizing the downside.
Seniors and Allergies: A Double Whammy
Seasonal allergies are certainly annoying, but for seniors that already deal with chronic diseases, they can be even more difficult to deal with. This is especially true for those with breathing difficulties such as COPD, emphysema, or asthma.
If your older loved one has breathing problems, be on the lookout for signs of breathing troubles, as well as other allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, and a running nose. Also, if a senior in your life has pre-existing cardiovascular issues, having an irritated throat and congested nose can be quite dangerous.Seniors who take medications for pre-existing conditions should always check with their doctor to be sure even simple, over-the-counter allergy medications are safe to take with their existing regimen. That goes for any natural or herbal remedies, too!
It is also important to note that even if a person didn’t have allergies when they were younger, it is possible to develop late onset allergies in their senior years. That means if someone who has never had allergies begins to show allergy symptoms, you should consult a doctor to make sure they receive the right treatment.
Tips to Help Seniors Manage Their Allergies
While allergies can make anyone miserable, it’s important to help seniors manage theirs quickly. Here are a few helpful tips for helping seniors keep allergies under control:
- Inform their doctor – Be sure that their doctor knows that they suffer from seasonal allergies. Allergies can be easily overlooked by a doctor when they are more focused on dealing with serious issues such as heart disease or diabetes.
- Don’t delay treatment – Because allergies can have more serious consequences for seniors, be sure they receive treatment as soon as possible. In fact, because spring allergies are a yearly event, it makes sense to be proactive and have medications and other treatments on hand and ready before the pollen season is in full bloom.
- Stay educated – In today’s world, new treatments appear very quickly. Stay educated on any new allergy treatment that is on the horizon. This is especially true for treatments aimed towards the elderly. New treatments can be incredibly beneficial, but it’s best to check with your doctor to be sure a new treatment is safe for use with other medications, as well as to gain a better understanding of its effects.
- Stay clear of antihistamines – Most allergy sufferers turn to antihistamines when allergy season descends, but seniors should stay clear. Beyond the dangers of drug interaction with other medications they may be taking, there are other serious side effects.
From dizziness to confusion and drowsiness, antihistamines can increase the danger of a senior falling or having some other serious health event.
While it might be impossible to get rid of allergies altogether, it is possible to manage them. With a little planning, and staying on top of senior allergies, you can help your loved one enjoy the pleasures of spring without having to deal with the miseries of allergies.