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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.