Senior Living Care Blog

Avoiding Seasonal Allergies for Seniors

Posted by Joe Gilmore on Jan 24, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Allergy reactions are the most common immune diseases and as populations and people get older, allergies manifest more frequently. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States and cost the country and excess of $18 billion each year. One of the most common forms of allergies is seasonal allergies.


Allergies, especially seasonal allergies that come in the late winter and spring, are something that should be taken seriously. With allergy season rapidly approaching and as pollen begins to fill the air, it is important to go over preventative measures that you or your loved one can take to avoid getting allergies this year.


While different types of pollen are common throughout the year, generally people refer to allergy season as late winter, spring, and the months following. For most people seasonal allergies, or hay fever, is a problem that only has to be endured for a few weeks once or twice a year. However, for others, these problems can lead to other more serious health complications.


Seasonal allergies affect about 10 to 30 percent of the global population and can impose significant health burdens. It is important to note that region can have a huge effect on the type of pollen in the air and when it is prevalent. With that much of the population affected, learning about ways to avoid these issues could be a good way to ensure that you have a fun and peaceful spring.



Allergy Prevention

Some of the common symptoms associated with pollen allergies include sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, and itching of the face or throat. While these problems generally don’t lead to anything majorly severe, they are still an annoyance and something that can be prevented given proper care.


Reduce Exposure

One of the simplest methods that you can utilize to reduce the risk of seasonal allergies is to just reduce your contact with things that can trigger the allergy. For example, staying indoors on dry, windy days when pollen is in the air can be beneficial. If you are outside, wearing a pollen mask while you are out and about could help prevent allergies. It is important to note that the best tie to go outside is after a good rain which helped to clear the pollen out of the air.


Similarly, closing doors and windows at night, no matter how great the weather is, is an easy way to reduce the risk of getting an allergy flare-up.


Stay Up-To-Date

Checking your local news station or newspaper for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels is a good way to be prepared. If you do notice that pollen counts are increasing, preemptively taking allergy medications can help to cut the problem off before it even has time to start. Avoiding outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are high should be a priority. Pollen levels are the highest in the morning so staying indoors at least 10 a.m. is recommended.


Keep Your Living Area Clean

A woman cleaning her kitchen. Keeping a clean home can help to prevent seasonal allergies.

There is no silver bullet to eliminating allergens in your home, however there are a few measures that you can take to help keep the air clean. For example, using air conditioning in your home and car is one way to keep air circulating and to avoid pollen. One of the best products that you can get to avoid seasonal allergies is a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom. HEPA air purifiers can be effective in filtering dust, pollen, smoke, mold, and other problems that can lead to health issues. It is also recommended that you don’t use window or attic fans and that you should use a dryer rather than hanging them on a line outside.



There are a number of medications that are available to you, a lot of them are nonprescription that can help to ease allergy symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral antihistamines can be effective in relieving sneezing, itching, runny nose, and watery eyes. Some common examples of antihistamines include Claritin and Zyrtec. One preventative medication that you can use is nasal spray, it doesn’t have serious side effects but is most effective if you begin using it before your symptoms start.



Nutrients that are important for keeping the immune system working properly such as iron or zinc are often deficient in elderly. Being sure not to have a deficiency of these in your diet is a good way to make sure your immune system is working to full capacity. Some foods that can be beneficial to your immune system include garlic, apples, citrus, broccoli, turmeric, green tea, sunflower seeds, and much more.



In Conclusion

With allergy season about to be in full swing, it is important to remember that there are a number of things that you or your loved one can do to avoid a sickness-filled spring. One easy thing you can do to avoid pollen is just that, avoid pollen. Choosing not to go outside when there is a high pollen count, like on dry and windy days, is one of the most simple ways to avoid getting hay fever. There are other methods you could take such as changing diet, medication, and making sure your living area is clean.


Having to stay inside a lot can be boring, especially if you are living on your own. However, living in an assisted living facility can help you not only stay safe but can also give you or your loved one the opportunity to be living in a fun social setting. At Landmark Senior Living, our care staff offers residents the medical attention that they sometimes require and the social interactions and events that they crave. If you are interested in independent living facilities, please reach out to our admissions team to schedule a complimentary walk through.


Topics: Senior Tips

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