While spring may bring us flowers and greenery, it also brings many of us a less wanted gift: allergies.
Allergy symptoms can be a minor inconvenience or have a major impact on quality of life. If you’re caring for an older adult, allergies can feel just as bad for them as they do for you.
Here are some of allergies most common symptoms, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology:
- A runny or stuffy nose.
- Itchy, red eyes.
- Shortness of breath.
If your senior loved one is experiencing these symptoms for the first time, you’ll want to pay attention to when they occur. For instance, do they only happen when they are outside or after they’ve spent some time outside? That could indicate that allergies may be triggering those symptoms.
How Allergies Are Different From COVID-19 Symptoms
In today’s pandemic-hardened world, it can be easy to assume that any new health symptoms you or your senior loved one have could be caused by COVID-19. While there’s some overlap between allergy and COVID-19 symptoms, there also are many differences. Here are a few examples:
- COVID-19 may cause a fever, but allergies will not.
- Both allergies and COVID-19 can cause a cough, but COVID is more likely to cause one.
- Allergies often will cause itchy eyes or nose, but COVID usually does not.
- Sneezing is associated more with allergies.
- Both COVID-19 and allergies can cause a runny or stuffy nose.
For a further breakdown of allergy versus COVID-19 symptoms, find a helpful chart here from the Mayo Clinic.
Treatments for Allergies—and When to See a Doctor
If your senior loved one needs help coping with allergies, they can use a wide variety of over-the-counter medicines. These include:
- Oral tablets used once or twice a day. Some of these can cause drowsiness, so always read the medication instructions to find out side effects.
- Decongestant tablets to help your nasal symptoms.
- Nasal sprays to help control or prevent nasal symptoms. Don’t use a decongestant nasal spray for more than a couple of days, as it could make a person more dependent on it.
- Eye drops that can control the itch caused by allergies.
There also are natural treatments that can help allergies, including acupuncture and certain essential oils. Steps like keeping windows closed when allergies are at their peak and washing your hands, face, and hair after going outside also can help.
If you or your senior loved one finds that allergies are more than just an occasional hassle, it’s a good idea to see a doctor or an allergy specialist. Your doctor can recommend treatments and help confirm that it’s actually allergies causing the symptoms. It’s also possible that your loved one is experiencing allergies along with asthma, which requires further monitoring and treatment.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients' age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.