Spring has sprung, and it’s that time of year again for dealing with dreaded spring allergies. Whether it’s pollen, dander, or other allergens in the air, the spring months can be a very uncomfortable time for people who suffer from allergies.
But how do you know if your senior loved one is suffering from allergies? Maybe you or your elder care aide have noticed your loved one sniffling, sneezing, or coughing lately. But is that allergies or a cold?
In spite of what you might think, allergies can develop in anyone at any age. So, just as a three-year-old can suddenly develop a peanut allergy, an eighty-year-old can suddenly develop an allergy to pine sap or pollen. With seniors, though, this is problematic, because many of the allergy symptoms overlap with symptoms of other illnesses. Even allergies themselves could be hazardous to a senior’s health, because they can affect the respiratory tract and make it difficult for them to breathe,
Let’s take a quick look at some of the symptoms of spring allergies, so that you can decide whether a trip to the doctor is necessary.
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Congestion (feeling “stuffed up”)
- Swelling in face or sinuses
- Trouble breathing
While these symptoms don’t always signify allergies alone, if you or your elder care provider notice these symptoms in your loved one, it is a good idea to see a physician to identify the cause. It is especially telling if these symptoms appear around the same time that the flowers start blooming and the pollen count gets high, as this points fairly definitively toward allergies.
If you do find out that your loved one has spring allergies, there are a few things you can do to help them weather the spring weather better. Some of these things include:
- Keeping track of pollen levels – Most weather apps or weather forecasts on television include a graph that indicates the pollen level for that day. If it is high, try to keep your loved one indoors if possible to keep them from breathing in all that pollen.
- Keeping the windows closed – If you know your senior is allergic to something in the springtime air, don’t open the windows and let that spring air inside. Sure, it is warm and pleasant, but you don’t want to aggravate their respiratory systems just so that you can all enjoy the breeze!
- Wearing sunglasses – Wearing sunglasses can help to keep allergens like pollen and mold spores out of the eyes. It also helps protect the face against sun exposure, which is an added bonus.
- Washing hands often and thoroughly – Washing your hands (and body) after coming in from outside can help to keep allergens out of the air inside the house. This doesn’t just apply to your elderly loved one though: you can carry allergens too!
The most important thing to do if you suspect that your loved one has allergies is to visit a doctor and find out what they are allergic to, and to rule out any other problems. After that, follow the tips above to help them ease these symptoms and to enjoy the spring!
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Arvada, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.