Spring is upon us. The flowers and trees are starting to bloom.
The budding flowers and trees are beautiful, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining, but it also marks the start of seasonal allergies for many.
It is estimated that more than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from allergies each year.
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Allergies are often unrecognized — and therefore untreated — in seniors.
It is an inflammatory condition that can have a greater impact on seniors than in the younger population due to age-related changes in their immune systems.
As the pollen level rises, you may hear people say they have hay fever, which is another term for seasonal allergies. They aren’t allergic to hay but seasonal pollen or other irritants.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
There are a number of symptoms associated with affliction by seasonal allergies.
- itchy eyes, nose and throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- dark circles under your eyes
- aches and pains
- fatigue and weakness
- sleep disturbance
Recognize these in your senior loved one or yourself?
Tips to Prevent Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
You can take some action now to prevent symptoms from slowing your senior down. Some symptoms can lead to more serious illnesses, including sinus infection, ear infections and upper respiratory infections.
- When pollen counts start to rise, limit time outdoors
- Keep your windows and doors closed when pollen is at its peak
- Change your air conditioner filter, keep the air circulating to filter the outdoor air or use an air purifier indoors to clean the air of pollen
- Wash your hands frequently especially when returning from the outdoors
- Avoid outdoor activities that stir up pollen, such as lawn mowing, and wear a mask if they cannot be avoided
- Dry your laundry in the machine, not outdoors on a clothes line, to keep pollen off your clothes and bedding
- Avoid visiting with people who have colds
- Learn about what triggers your senior’s allergies and avoid the trigger
Hopefully your senior can prevent some of the uncomfortable symptoms from happening to them this spring and summer!
Here is an informative story which might help you learn more about allergies:
Here are a few articles about spring safety reminders that might be needed at this time of the year too!