Seasonal allergies can affect anyone at any age, and seniors are no exception. But when other serious health conditions are present, allergies can go overlooked and untreated, leaving seniors with no choice but to cope with the unpleasant side effects.
If you or a loved one is experiencing seasonal allergies, you don’t have to suffer through them! Talk to your doctor and follow these steps to make allergy season more bearable.
Recognize the signs.
The most common allergy symptoms affect the nose, sinuses and skin, and can include:
- Itchy nose, throat, eyes and skin
- Watery eyes
It’s important to tell your doctor if you notice these symptoms and suspect seasonal allergies. They will help determine if there are any serious underlying conditions or food allergies causing the symptoms.
Do not take over-the-counter remedies like antihistamines before speaking with your doctor. These drugs can raise your blood pressure or cause severe dehydration, which can be especially dangerous in the summer. They can also interact with other prescription medications, or cause dizziness, increasing your risk of falls and other injuries.
So, how can you find relief when over-the-counter medication isn’t an option?
- Minimize your exposure to pollen. Don’t worry—that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all summer long. Take advantage of outdoor activities on days when the pollen count is low, and avoid staying outside for extended periods on days when it’s high. You can check the pollen count and forecasts a week in advanced on websites like Pollen.com and Google.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat to keep pollen and other irritants out of your eyes and hair.
- After spending a long time outdoors, when you come back inside, change your clothes and shoes and wash your hands to prevent the spread of pollen around the home.
- Keep your windows and doors closed and use air conditioning to stay cool.
- Keep your air filters clean and consider using a HEPA air filter. You can learn more about the benefits of HEPA filters for allergies by clicking here.
- Don’t dry clothes and linens outside, as they can gather pollen.
- Don’t smoke and limit your exposure to tobacco smoke, whenever possible.
This blog contains discussion about health-related subjects, and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose or treat any disease or illness. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact your doctor immediately or call 9-1-1.