Spring Allergy Awareness for Seniors

  • May 01, 2019

In many areas of the country, the past winter was a rough one. From record snowfall to repeated ice storms, most people are happy to see spring make its return. Unfortunately, with the return of sunny weather comes the return of spring allergy season. Ragweed, grass, and pollen-producing flowers and trees are blooming once again.

For some seniors, surviving spring allergy season means looking at alternatives to over-the-counter allergy medications. Physicians often encourage seniors to avoid the use of symptom-relieving antihistamines because they can increase blood pressure and interfere with vital medications.

What can you do to better manage allergy season or help a senior loved one find relief? We have a few suggestions for you to explore.

5 Ways to Cope with Spring Allergy Season

  1. Work around peak pollen times: Monitor the pollen count. Schedule outdoor time and errand running for days and times when the pollen count is predicted to be low. This will help you limit pollen exposure. Your local news station might have a pollen predictor on their website to make monitoring easier. Some national weather stations and websites, such as The Weather Channel and Pollen.com, have apps that will text or email you an alert when the pollen count is rising.
  2. Keep windows closed: After a long winter, it’s natural to want to open the windows and breathe in some fresh air. Unfortunately, doing so allows pollen to make its way into your home. During peak allergy season, rely on overhead fans and air conditioning to cool your house instead. 
  3. Cover up: When you are outdoors during allergy season, cover up. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, sunglasses, and a hat. The hat and sunglasses will keep allergens from getting into your eyes and making you feel miserable. Long sleeves and pants can help limit the amount of pollen, mold, and dust that makes its way indoors on your clothes. Take them—and your shoes or boots—off in the garage or laundry room. Immediately throw clothing into the washing machine to launder.
  4. Use the dryer: Some seniors prefer to line dry their clothing during warmer months. Not only does it save money on utility costs, but it also leaves clothes looking and feeling fresh. Unfortunately, it also gives allergens an opportunity to attach to clothing. It’s better to use the dryer instead during spring allergy season.
  5. Diet may relieve symptoms: There is some evidence that incorporating the right foods in to your diet may help relieve common allergy symptoms. Onions, peppers, berries, kiwi, and pineapple are a few examples. The probiotics found in kefir might also help to minimize symptoms.

If you’ve given natural methods like those listed above a try and still find yourself suffering from allergies, it’s likely time to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. They may, in turn, refer you to an allergist for further testing. Pinpointing the exact cause of spring allergies, such as ragweed or Elm tree pollen, may make it easier to determine the best treatment plan.

If you found this article to be helpful, we encourage you to bookmark “Resources for Families” and visit often. We update this information several times each week!


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