Many people suffer from allergies during the spring season, however for Bay Area seniors allergies can be particularly troublesome. Nothing is more beautiful than new flowers and blooming trees, but for some, the joy is dampened by constant sneezing, watery eyes, a running nose, etc.
Why are seasonal allergies potentially serious for seniors? Many already have breathing difficulties or respiratory issues such as asthma, emphysema, or COPD. Add allergies to the mix, and it can become dangerous. Many seniors take prescription medications for COPD and other respiratory issues, or even medications for high blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems. It's important to keep in mind that even over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs. If your elderly loved one develops symptoms of allergies always check with a doctor before giving any type of medication designed to reduce the symptoms.
What can you do to help a senior with allergies?
First of all, if you notice symptoms consult a doctor right away. Treatment shouldn't be delayed with those who are elderly. While allergies aren't usually a big deal for those who are younger or healthier, they can have more serious consequences for those who are older - especially those who already have respiratory problems.
Discuss any new allergy treatments with your loved one's doctor. New medications come on the market every day, and there may be one that is more suited to a senior when combined with other medications he or she may be taking.
Avoid antihistamines. While antihistamines can interact with medications a senior already takes, they also cause drowsiness and may have other side effects such as confusion or dizziness, which could result in a fall. Other side effects include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, trouble urinating, dry mouth, and restlessness.
You can help your aging loved one control the symptoms of seasonal allergies, but always check with the doctor and be "in the know."
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