How to Help Seniors During Allergy Season
It seems as though spring weather is finally upon us, which not only means warmer, longer and sunnier days, but also the start of allergy season. While spring can be a great time to enjoy the outdoors, it can also make many people quite miserable, especially seniors. If your elderly loved one is impacted by seasonal allergies, then nothing can be as difficult as this time of year.
For some younger adults, allergy season may just mean itchy eyes and a running nose, but for seniors who have a compromised immune system, are taking certain medications or who are dealing with chronic disease, allergy side effects can be even worse. The good news is, as a caregiver, there are things that you can do to help make allergy season better and more comfortable for your senior loved ones.
Here are a few tips to help you get you and your loved one through this sniffly, itchy, sneezing time of year.
Start By Knowing What You’re Dealing With
The first step to helping any senior through allergy season is to spot their allergy issues. First, look for the common signs, which can include the sudden onset of sneezing, running nose and itchy eyes, typically starting right around this time of year when flowers start to bloom.
You should also take note of when they start to have these symptoms so you can be sure it is seasonal allergies, not some other irritant.
Take Them to the Doctor
While allergies may not seem like something that requires a trip to the doctor, for seniors, this is actually a very important step. This is a great way to make sure your diagnosis of seasonal allergies is accurate and to make certain that you can get a professional’s insight on over-the-counter medications.
While there are plenty of seemingly harmless over-the-counter meds available for allergy sufferers, you want to make sure that medications like this won’t interfere with your loved one’s other prescriptions or treatments. Doctors may also prescribe treatments such as nasal steroids.
Try A More Natural Approach
Look into more natural treatments for seniors, instead of going straight to antihistamines, which are some of the most popular treatments for allergies. Antihistamines, especially powerful ones, can come with some serious side effects for seniors and increase their chances of falling or getting hurt.
Antihistamines can sometimes cause confusion, dizziness, drowsiness or even changes in mood or behavior. This can be very risky for seniors. There are other, more natural forms of treating allergy symptoms that don’t come with these side effects. Vitamins, light pain medications to treat discomfort, eye drops, non-medicated sprays, homeopathics and even consuming honey from local bees have all been shown to help those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Plus, these treatments all come with little to no side effects.
Allergy season can be rough for anyone who typically has a reaction to springtime pollen, but especially detrimental for seniors. Take the time to consider these additional tips when helping your loved one through allergy season to keep them healthy, comfortable and pain-free all spring long.
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
- 2019.09.11General Senior LivingElderly Anxiety: What to Be Aware Of
- 2019.08.07General Senior LivingThe Top 5 Conditions That Lead to Age-Related Vision Loss
- 2019.08.05General Senior Living5 Skin Cancer Prevention Tips Every Senior Should Know
- 2019.07.30General Senior LivingSeniors and Hyperthermia: Advice for the Summer