Coping With Seasonal Allergies

Jun 10, 2016

Coping With Seasonal Allergies

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As warm weather arrives almost everyone looks forward to three things, sunshine, swimming, and summer. Unfortunately, summer is prime time for allergens that will leave you sneezing, sniffling, and stuffy. It’s important to be aware of these impending nuisances and how to conquer them. Below are just a few ways you can keep the allergies at bay.

6 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Allergies

1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

The first step to coping with seasonal allergies is being aware that you have them. Many will mistake allergic reactions for a common cold or flu-like symptoms. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when you start feeling sick. If you often feel stuffed up or itchy after mowing the lawn, it’s possible you're susceptible to pollen. If you’ve been sneezing and sniffling since you brought a new pet into the house, it might be time to send your furry friend to a different home. 

2. Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Many often fail to realize that allergens can cling to clothes, hair, and skin. A shower with soap and water after spending time outside or snuggling up with pets can greatly decrease the chance of an allergic reaction. Washing clothing frequently also will lower the risk that pesky allergens will make themselves at home. 

3. Clear the Air

As the weather gets nicer and the temperature warms up the first thing many love to do is to open up the windows, prop open the screen door and let the summer scents fill the room. Unfortunately, that summer breeze will also bring in pollen and other allergens that will put a damper on your summer. Dehumidifiers or keeping windows closed during high-pollen days will help your eyes and sinuses.

4. Eat Right

There have been a few studies done that have linked healthy eating with a decrease in allergy symptoms. Many of the probiotics in yogurt actually combat allergy symptoms and can even relieve sinus pressure. Also, eating healthy boosts the immune system, giving your body the energy to fight how incoming allergens.

5. Medication in Moderation

Sometimes eating healthy and washing up after spending time outside just isn’t enough. If your symptoms become a nuisance, visit your doctor. They will most likely prescribe a medication to help with relief. Make sure to read the labels and any side effects. Most will make you a little drowsy so make sure you’re not operating and motor vehicles to power tools.

6. Rest!

Finally, get some much-needed rest. Your body needs time to recuperate and getting good nights sleep will allow it to continue fighting those pesky allergens. Many will choose to “push through it,” when in fact rest is the best course of attack. Your body will thank you in the long room, and when in doubt, take a nap.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do allergies get worse with age?

Seasonal allergies do tend to get worse with age, mostly because of the fact that our immune systems tend to break down. This means that seniors are likely to experience a change in the way their bodies handle allergens. As you get older, it's harder for your body to protect itself from common allergens.

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How can allergies in seniors be treated?

You can treat allergies for seniors in different ways, however, the most common methods of treatment include:

Antihistamines: These are the mainstay in the treatment of allergies, especially for younger people. First-generation antihistamines like chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine are generally effective in reducing sneezing, itching, and rhinorrhea. It may be necessary to avoid traditional antihistamines as well, given that they can cause confusion, drowsiness, urinary retention, dry mouth, and eyes, as well as dizziness.

Decongestants: These are used to reduce nasal swelling, which in turn relieves congestion. The most common used agent is pseudoephedrine, however, it does have the potential to stimulate the nervous system to produce side effects like anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and palpitations. It’s usually recommended that elderly patients, especially those with hypertension, coronary artery disease, cerebral vascular disease, or bladder conditions, avoid decongestants.

Anti-Inflammatory Nasal Sprays: Most of these medications are safe for older adults to use. For most people, these agents are effective in reducing sneezing, itching, congestion, and rhinorrhea with very minimal side effects.

Immunotherapy: Essentially, patients are injected with extremely small amounts of an allergen, eventually increasing the dosage to develop a resistance. These “allergy shots” are an effective long-term treatment that decreases the symptoms of rhinitis, asthma, conjunctivitis, or even insect stings.

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