Allergies have become increasingly common in the United States, affecting more than 50 million people. For your senior loved one, allergies can be even more severe due to age-related changes in their immune system.
Allergens found both indoors and outdoors can cause a wide variety of symptoms for your senior loved one. You need to understand the causes, signs, and treatments available for allergies so you can best care for your senior parent with this condition.
Causes of Allergies in Seniors
The specific cause of allergies is complex but the following can increase a senior's risk:
While anyone can have an allergic reaction to a certain allergen, senior individuals may be more sensitive because of their age. Outdoor allergies such as pollen, grasses, and trees are common during warm weather months for everyone.
However, indoor factors also contribute and should not be overlooked when considering the cause of allergies in your senior loved one. Dust mites, pet dander, and other toxins from carpets or furniture are just some examples that can trigger a reaction in a senior.
Your senior loved one also has an increased risk of allergies due to medications they may be taking or have taken in the past. Steroids, antibiotics, and other drugs can weaken a senior's immune system, making them more susceptible to allergic reactions.
The risk of allergies can be passed on from one generation to the next, which means your senior parent may already have a predisposition toward having allergies.
Symptoms of Allergies in Seniors
Allergies in seniors can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on the type of allergens they are exposed to and their sensitivity. Common signs include:
Seniors may experience itching, rashes, and other skin irritations when exposed to allergens.
Allergies can also cause difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory issues.
Your senior loved one may also experience nausea, abdominal pain, and other digestive issues as a result of allergic reactions.
Treatments for Allergies in Seniors
The most effective way to manage allergies in your senior loved one is to avoid the offending triggers. However, if exposure does occur, there are several treatments available:
Your senior loved one may be prescribed anti-allergy medications such as decongestants or corticosteroids. In some cases, over-the-counter medication can help manage symptoms and ease their suffering from mild allergy symptoms.
This form of treatment helps to build up your senior loved one's tolerance for allergens. Small doses of an allergen are gradually administered as part of immunotherapy to increase the body's resistance and decrease allergic reactions over time.
Senior Helpers Fresno Provides Care for Your Senior Loved One
Caring for your senior loved one with allergies can be challenging, but knowing the risk factors, causes, symptoms, and treatments will help you provide better care for them in Fresno, Clovis, Hanford, Visalia, and Tulare. Allergies should always be taken seriously so that seniors can live comfortably despite having this condition. Senior Helpers Fresno offers services to help make your senior parent's life a little more manageable. Contact us now!