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Oakridge Gardens is fully sponsoring C.N.A. classes. Please contact 920-739-0111 for more information.
Classes start in December, January, and February!
Oakridge Gardens is fully sponsoring C.N.A. classes. Please contact 920-739-0111 for more information. Classes start in November and December!

Allergies and Seniors: What You Need to Know

A Senior
For many adults, allergies are a common problem in spring and summer. Allergies can bring misery to adults, especially for those who like spending time outdoors. If you're a senior or a loved one of a senior, knowing what to do and how to treat allergies can help make the summer months a more pleasant and satisfying time. 

Learn Who Is At Risk

Everyone is at risk for allergies, even people who have never had allergies in the past. Increasing age can weaken the immune system and allow allergies to develop at certain times of the year.

In fact, cases of allergies are increasing in general for reasons that are unknown. Some believe that more people experience allergies because our living conditions have become cleaner and more sanitized. Others believe that the increase in allergies is due to higher pollen counts and more dust.

Whatever the reason, allergies are a common problem, and you can experience them regardless of your medical history.  

Understand the Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can vary from one person to the next. Different people are allergic to different types of pollen or dust, and thus not everyone who experiences allergies will get them at the same time. Below are some of the most common allergy symptoms:
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy, dry eyes
  • Scratchy or dry throat
  • Cough caused by post nasal drip
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
If you experience these symptoms periodically throughout the spring and summer, you could be suffering from allergies. 

Consult With a Doctor

Seniors have to be careful about their health so they can maintain a good quality of life. You should consult with your doctor about your symptoms to find out for sure whether or not you're experiencing allergies. Keep in mind that some illnesses, like cold and flu, can start off looking like allergies.  

You should also know that some types of antihistamines are not good for seniors. Before taking any allergy medications, talk to your doctor to find out for sure whether or not it is safe. Your doctor can recommend some alternative medications that can help reduce your symptoms. 

Find Natural Solutions

With some types of allergy medications being off limits, many seniors will seek natural ways to treat their allergy problems. Fortunately, you can do many things to lessen your symptoms and reduce your exposure to allergens.

You can start by monitoring the pollen count outdoors and limiting your time outside to the days when the pollen count is the lowest. Many websites online monitor pollen counts and alert people when the count is very high. Sometimes, at the peak times of the year, this information will also be covered on local news stations. 

When the pollen count is high, take measures beyond avoiding spending time outdoors. Seniors who have access to windows that open should keep their windows closed at this time of year and try to remain in a climate controlled facility. Air quality in these facilities is often better than the air quality outside when the pollen count is high. 

You should also drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy diet to help keep the body healthy. Fluids can also help thin the mucus in the nose, which makes it easier to cough up mucus that drips into the lungs. After you spend time outside, you should bathe and wash your clothes to help get rid of tiny particles of dust and pollen that cling to the clothes and skin.

Communicate Allergy Problems to Caregivers and Family

Of course, seniors must communicate allergy problems to caregivers, physicians, and family members. This type of communication can help your care team devise a potential solution to the problem.

At Oakridge Gardens Rehabilitation & Memory Center, we're always happy to answer questions from our residents regarding their health and well-being. If you want to know more about what you can do to stay healthy during allergy season, contact us.