Summer is drawing to a close, and as fall soon approaches allergy season will be in full swing again. While many people may assume that elderly people are immune to allergies, they are actually just as likely to suffer from seasonal symptoms as the rest of us.
Sufferers can expect sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, and are not something to take lightly. Studies have shown that allergies can cause an individual’s quality of life to diminish by 35 percent. Yet, by knowing what triggers allergies and how to avoid certain allergens, you can help your elderly loved ones better control their allergies.
Here are several important facts about allergies and tips for treating them to consider when caring for the elderly:
- Allergies are on the rise. Just because your loved one didn’t have allergies previously at this time of year doesn’t mean they can’t experience them later in life. Studies have also shown that because of climate changes pollen counts have gradually been increasing, making symptoms worse for many people.
- Make sure to keep their doctor informed. Keeping physicians in the loop can never hurt, no matter how minor the allergies are. Doctors are sometimes focused more on chronic diseases or larger health issues that it can be difficult to diagnose allergy symptoms.
- Taking medication before symptoms occur can help. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Those who suffer every year at this time from allergies can prepare by taking medication a couple of weeks before to reduce or even eliminate symptoms. A range of medications exist, including decongestants and corticosteroids. For those who suffer greatly, a leukotriene inhibitor can be used, which is a prescription medication approved to control asthma and help relieve severe seasonal allergies. Caregivers should note that it is best for elderly individuals to avoid traditional antihistamines, as they can cause dangerous side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness, urinary retention, confusion, and dry mouth and eyes. Allergy sufferers should consult with their physician.
- Allergy shots can provide relief for those with hard to control symptoms. Immunotherapy is a method of treatment that uses specific parts of a person’s immune system to fight certain ailments. This can provide symptom relief and modify or prevent any progression, and can also be tailored to an individual’s specific allergies.
- For many, it’s not just some mild discomfort. In some cases, elderly individuals can experience worse allergy symptoms than younger sufferers. Caregivers should be on the lookout for their elderly loved ones who may be experiencing allergies and work to treat their symptoms as soon as possible.
The bottom line is that there is help available for your elderly loved ones who are suffering from allergies. Whether their symptoms are mild or severe, seeking proper treatment is the best option a caregiver can provide. Contact your physician or Angels Senior Home Solutions if you believe your loved one is suffering from allergies.
Angels Senior Home Solutions is a based-in-faith company that provides in-home healthcare and personal care services for seniors. Visit our website here.