It’s easy to be a fair-weather fan, especially when it’s in reference to actual weather. After all, nothing beats a little time outdoors in the warmth of the sun, surrounded by trees, flowers, and nature. Unless, of course, you are one of the millions who suffer from the sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and other bothersome symptoms associated with allergies. In fact, according to the CDC, more than 50 million Americans experience allergies every year—making allergies the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the nation.
In most cases, allergies manifest early in childhood. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean senior adults are out of the woods, so to speak. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for seniors to suddenly develop allergies in their later years—or even have those late-developing allergies misdiagnosed as part of a preexisting condition they’re battling. And if misdiagnosed, the inflammatory response to allergies can pose a significant risk to greater issues, such as chronic illness. That’s why it’s important to properly diagnose and treat allergies quickly and effectively.
The best practice is to seek professional attention from a doctor or health provider. However, there are a few things you can do to self-diagnose and see if you’ve developed a case of allergies.
The best place to start is identifying the most common symptoms you may be experiencing, such as runny nose, sniffling, sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes. It’s important to note that fever, sore throat, and body aches are more indicative of a cold or the flu, and not allergies. Also of note, certain prescriptions can make allergy symptoms worse or lead you to mistake the medication’s side effects as allergies, so be sure to consult a doctor for a professional opinion if you’re uncertain.
The next best step in managing or even minimizing allergies is to simply avoid known allergens as much as possible. And, yes, that might mean finding something other than fresh-cut flowers to place at the center of the dining table or not spending extended amounts of time mowing the lawn or tending the garden.
Since most seasonal allergies are commonly related to pollen, here are some additional things that can be done to help you or a loved one avoid allergens:
ENJOY THE INDOOR ACTIVITIES PROVIDED AT BRIDGE SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES
When seasonal allergies strike, or are at their highest, rest assured there are plenty of ways to stay active indoors. Whether it’s working on a new hobby, like ceramics or painting, reading a book in the library, playing a game, swimming in an indoor pool, or simply watching a movie from the comfort of your apartment home, residents of Bridge Senior Living communities can count on a wide variety of indoor activities all year long.
Sources: Allergy and Aging: An Old/New Emerging Health Issue (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5362176/); Medications and Older Adults (https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/medications-and-older-adults); How Seasonal Allergies Affect Seniors (https://www.unitedmedicareadvisors.com/how-seasonal-allergies-affect-seniors)