After the snowy, cold days of winter are behind us, many seniors are happy to see the first signs of spring. Spotting the first returning robin of the year means warmer days are on the horizon. That helps boost the spirit.
Unfortunately, birds aren’t the only things that return in spring. Grass and pollen-producing plants also reappear. For seniors who suffer from spring allergies, scratchy eyes, a running nose, and fever are common. A rising pollen count may also aggravate cardiac and pulmonary conditions.
Seniors have unique challenges when it comes to spring allergy season. Over-the-counter medications often increase blood pressure or interfere with prescription medications.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent spring allergies.
6 Tips for Seniors to Ease Suffering from Spring Allergies
- Invest in an air purifier: While you can’t control the air outside your home, you can take steps to purify the air indoors. Investing in an air purifier can remove pollens and other irritants that make their way inside.
- Watch the weather: Most local news stations mention the pollen count during their morning and evening weather reports. Monitoring when the pollen count is projected to climb can help you avoid being outside when pollen soars. If you have a smart phone, you might want to download a weather app. Some will even alert you when the local pollen count is up. The Weather Channel and Pollen.com are two to explore.
- Use nasal irrigation: Another option is to rinse your nasal passages with saline. You can purchase a nasal irrigation bottle and individual packages of saline inexpensively at your local pharmacy.
- Keep windows closed: When you’ve been cooped up indoors all winter, it’s tempting to open the windows. During peak allergy season, however, open windows allow allergens and molds to make their way into your home. Keep the windows closed, at least on days when the pollen count is high.
- Take a hot shower: A steamy hot shower can open nasal passages, helping you breathe more comfortably. Some allergy sufferers find adding an effervescent vapor tablet to the shower provides additional relief.
- Wear a mask: While you might feel self-conscious doing so, wearing a face mask on peak pollen days is another way to naturally manage spring allergies. Keep a stash at home and in your car.
- If these natural remedies fail to bring you relief, you might need to turn to allergy medication during the spring. Talk with your physician for a recommendation before purchasing any over-the-counter allergy medicine.
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Source: Sunrise Senior Living