Spring is a time that many people look forward to, especially those who’ve struggled with seasonal depression. Your elderly loved one is no doubt looking forward to little things like seeing their garden bloom. Unfortunately, there is a downside that accompanies this: Pollen.
People of all ages can feel the effect pollen has on their upper respiratory system. However, it’s especially difficult for seniors who struggle this time of year, as they tend to have weaker immune systems. Luckily, there are spring allergy tips to combat this.
Using the experience of Advanced Nursing + Home Support’s team of professional in-home nurses, we’ve put together some insight on how to prevent allergies in the spring. Read on to learn tips and treatments!
How to Prevent Allergies in Springtime
The key to preventing illness in the spring is preparation. An example of this would be things like rinsing your nasal passages with saline spray as soon as you come in from being outside.
Keep a Clean Home
Aside from cleaning the surfaces in your home, it’s a good idea to wash clothes that you’ve worn outside right away. Routine cleaning ensures that allergens are not lingering in your home, triggering allergic episodes.
Today, doctors and allergists can perform testing to determine what exactly is causing your allergic reactions. While pollen is probably the biggest reason someone would experience seasonal allergies, you could be allergic to something else, too. For example, if you’re mildly allergic to your pet’s hair and aren’t aware of it, it could make spring time allergies that much worse. This testing can prove invaluable in informing you of what you need to avoid to keep allergy symptoms at bay.
Routine Nasal Rinse
Many allergy sufferers rinse their nasal passages to treat existing allergy symptoms. Doing so helps wash out mucus and allergens, which can effectively prevent allergy symptoms from surfacing at all. It also helps prevent symptoms from turning into sinus and upper respiratory infections.
What is the Best Allergy Medicine for Seniors?
Sometimes allergies and allergy symptoms just can’t be avoided. Allergy symptoms can take a real toll on the elderly, so it is important to treat them right away.
The most important thing to do when determining which is the best allergy medicine for a senior is to consult with their doctor. In general, though, there are a few rules of thumb that you can go off of.
The first being, seniors should avoid allergy medicines that are sedatives like Benadryl — especially if they’re already on a different sedative. This also applies to decongestants. A good rule of thumb is to just avoid combination products that claim to treat multiple symptoms at once.
Second, it’s important to know that some antihistamines are safer than others. Newer antihistamines like Claritin are preferred over older antihistamines because they don’t have the same sedative and anticholinergic effects.
Always be sure to read the ingredients label. If all else fails, generic saline solution and eye drops are usually pretty safe bets.
Since medicines aren’t always appropriate or safe for seniors, natural remedies can provide a good alternative. Eating local honey from your area has been used for years to mitigate the symptoms of allergies.
Another natural remedy is air conditioners and dehumidifiers, which can limit the amount of pollen, mold, and mildew in the air, which can trigger allergic reactions.
Finally, some doctors suggest that daily use of vitamin C can reduce the amount of histamine produced, therefore reducing allergy symptoms.
Tips to Prepare for Allergy Season
Some elderly people dread allergy season because of the negative symptoms. The below spring allergy tips can help make it a more enjoyable time for them.
1. Change Your Air Filter
One of the most effective spring allergy tips is changing your air filter. Your air filter can keep out pollen, dust, mold, and other unwanted particles that can irritate your allergies. If your air filter is old or clogged, it can’t do its job, and these unwanted contaminants can make their way into your home.
2. Reduce Exposure
Weather professionals have become relatively accurate in predicting high-risk allergen days, so you can try to plan your outdoor activities around these days.
While it can seem difficult to plan your life around allergies, small adjustments to your schedule can make a big difference if you are wondering how to prevent allergies in spring.
3. Consider Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a preventative treatment option for some allergy patients. It involves exposing a person to small levels of allergens and increasing the dose over time. The person becomes less sensitive to the allergen as the exposure increases.
While allergy treatments are relatively safe, there is still a risk of shock to the exposure that can be especially damaging for senior adults.
Find Care with Advanced Nursing + Home Support
At Advanced Nursing + Home Support, our dedicated team of care providers is committed to making individuals feel empowered in their everyday lives. From skilled nursing care to in-home memory care, our staff can provide support in any situation. To learn more about in-home care in Maryland or the D.C. area, contact us online or call us at 240-474-0884.