Physical Activity and Heart Disease
Healthy Tips for Seniors: Don't Let Spring Allergies Get the Best of You
As spring time approaches, so does Allergy season! As flowers begin to bloom and people start to cut their grass more frequently, sniffling and sneezing begin to affect the more than 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies. This is a reminder for those residents at Treemont senior living in Houston community as you return to your Gardening Angel projects and walks around the campus.
As flowers and trees begin to bloom, they release pollen in the air. As pollen goes into the air, it causes one’s immune system to identify pollen as a danger and release antibodies that attack the allergens. The antibodies released in the blood are called histamines. Histamines are responsible for symptoms such as runny nose and itchy eyes that most people experience. This inflammatory response causes a greater impact in seniors than in younger people due to age-related changes in the immune system.
Symptoms can include:
- Itchy eyes, nose and throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Aches and pains
- Fatigue and weakness
- Sleep disturbances
Although there is no cure for allergies, the following are ways to prevent or minimize an exacerbation:
- Watch the weather channel for reports of pollen levels and limit outdoor activities when levels are high
- Keep windows and doors closed when pollen levels are high
- Wash your hands, take a shower/change your clothes, and take your shoes off when coming from outside to remove any tiny particles of allergens that may have attached to your body.
- Change your air filters at least every 6 months (or often if needed)
- Severe allergies may require the need for a skin test to determine more specific allergen triggers such as allergies to a specific tree type.
- Take a daily antihistamine such as Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec. It is important to discuss with your physician if you want to take an antihistamine as some may interact with current medications and/or may cause drowsiness.
- Use natural cleaners to clean your home as harsh chemicals can irritate your nasal passage and aggravate your symptoms
- Avoid cigarette smoke as they can worsen allergy symptoms
- Limit how many throw rugs you keep in your home to reduce dust and mold
- Consult your doctor if your allergies become severe as untreated allergies can lead to worsen other medical conditions such as COPD and Asthma.
Also always remember to consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
References: www.webmd.com; seniorcarecorner.com