Each season guides in a unique set of weather and climate. While spring may usher in beautiful foliage, and a welcomed respite from the winter months, it can also bring pollen and allergens that can flare up allergies. Allergies can cause discomfort that is similar to the common cold. Seasonal allergy symptoms can vary but typically involve red/itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and coughing. Seasonal allergies are incredibly common, with more than one in five Canadians experiencing these symptoms. Aside from these physical symptoms, seasonal allergies can affect a person’s concentration, decision-making, hand-eye coordination, and memory.
While Origin Active Lifestyle Communities welcomes the spring, we also know how seasonal allergies can be limiting, especially for older adults. That is why we want to share some tips that may help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms.
Many allergy medications can be purchased over-the-counter that can assist in alleviating seasonal allergy symptoms. Each medication may work differently as allergy medications do not come in a one-size-fits-all. For older adults who take medications for other health issues, it is important to talk to your primary physician or allergist about the right treatment for you, as this will help you avoid drug interactions and unwanted side effects.
Many may seek to solve their allergies with antihistamines. While antihistamines can help and are commonly used, they can increase blood pressure and elevate our heart rate. These risks are significant to consider, especially if you have preexisting health conditions.
For some older adults, allergy shots can be an alternative option. One recent study showed that allergy shots are efficient in reducing symptoms and discomfort, leading up to a 55% reduction in symptoms for those 65 to 75 years old.
Drug-Free Solutions to Alleviate Symptoms
Many seasonal allergy symptoms can be alleviated by taking steps to rid our homes of pollen, dust, and other harmful pollutants.
- Use an air purifier (with a HEPA filter)
- Wear eyewear outdoors
- Vacuum floors, carpets, and furniture, wash bed linens, wipe down surfaces, etc. regularly
Spring is a great time to start cleaning! A previous Origin Active Lifestyle Communities blog shares tips to help start the spring cleaning process.
If you’re seeking to prevent allergies and still be active, a key way to avoid an allergy flare-up is by avoiding the times of day with the highest pollen count. The highest concentration of pollen typically occurs during the morning, from the hours of 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., while windy and dry days can host the most significant concentration of pollen.
It’s tempting to open the windows and invite the warming weather into your home, but it also comes at the risk of allowing unwanted pollen and pollutants in the house. During the spring season, if you’re experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms, we recommend keeping your windows and doors shut. To further prevent pollen from coming into your home, after an outdoor activity, remove your shoes near the door, wash your hands and face, and put on fresh clothes.
Leading an active lifestyle with seasonal allergies can be challenging during these months. However, weather stations/sites can give you the best possible information regarding pollen count during the day of planned activities. If you want to remain active, even on days with high pollen concentration, indoor exercises can be an excellent alternative for the day.
Origin Active Lifestyle Communities encourage our community members to remain active throughout the year. Our active adult communities offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities, from physical, educational, and social.
If you found this article informative, we recommend you visit our Origin Active Lifestyle Communities blog for more information regarding senior health. If you are ready to find your retirement community, we invite you to discover an Origin community near you and experience the Origin Way!