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Seasonal Allergies and the elderly

Seasonal Allergies and the elderly

New Age Care News

Seasonal Allergies and the elderly

After a cold winter, the coming of Spring and the warmer weather can be a welcome relief. However, for some people the change of season can bring some unwanted consequences such allergies
. For those that suffer from allergies these symptoms can be annoying, but for the elderly they can cause larger problems, especially if they are suffering from respiratory issues and heart disease.

What are spring allergies?

The spring weather brings with it pollen, which can be a major cause of Spring allergies. Pollen is a fine powder produced by flowers, trees and grasses that fertilize other plants of the same species. Many people have an adverse immune response when they breathe in the pollen causing an allergic reaction.

Spring allergy symptoms

The symptoms of spring allergies can include:

Itchy eyes, nose, throat and skin
Watery eyes
Nasal congestion
Runny nose

Preventing Allergies and reducing symptoms

If you suffer from allergies then there a few things you can do to decrease the risks of them developing and reduce symptoms. These include:

Close Windows
I know it’s tempting when the weather gets warmer to open your doors and windows, but doing so invites allergens in. If you have air conditioning then this may be a better option. If not, then it’s best to leave the opening of doors and windows for days when the pollen count is lower.

Stay indoors
When the pollen count is high we also recommend trying to limit your outdoor activity. This may not always be possible but if you can arrange activities for days when the pollen count is lower this will help.

Wash after being outside
Pollens like to stick to your hair, skin, clothes and shoes. If you’ve been outside then wash your hands when you come in or take a shower. It’s also a good idea to leave shoes at the door and change and wash your clothes.

Wear Sunglasses
If you are heading outside then it’s best to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from blowing allergens. While not 100% effective they can certainly help to keep the pollen from your eyes.

Eat foods that fight inflammation
According to nutritionists what you eat can help you to fight Spring allergies. Try eating more foods that fight inflammation such as leafy greens, walnuts, flax seeds, apples and anything high is vitamin C.

A warning about Antihistamines

For many spring allergy sufferers, antihistamines are often prescribed to relieve the symptoms. Unfortunately, for the elderly it is not so straight forward. Antihistamines have numerous side effects including drowsiness, dry eyes & mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention and feeling sick. For the elderly this could lead to confusion and falls and effect other illnesses they may have. Antihistamines could also interfere with other medications being taken. Always consult your Doctor before using antihistamines.

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