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  • Writer's pictureKaren McPhail, RN, MSN

Pollen and Allergies!

Pollen and allergies can develop and be a problem at any age! Many of us suffer year after year, as I do! However, high pollen levels can negatively effect the respiratory system and are more likely to cause health issues for seniors. Allergies can be extremely dangerous for the elderly, especially those with cardiovascular issues. It is best to contact your doctor immediately for treatment if allergy symptoms persist such as runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, chronically needing to clear your throat, hoarseness, post nasal drip, cough, skin rashes, etc. Your physician can advise on treatments, sometimes other than antihistamines, as these may not be appropriate due to the potential side effects that are often found in older adults. Allergies need to controlled properly as left unattended they can lead to chronic pulmonary problems!

Enjoy the spring and summer in a safe way by following these simple tips:

1. Monitor the weather and stay inside on high pollen days!

2. Keep your air conditioning on and doors and windows closed! If you do not have air conditioning seek it out during the day at the library, shopping malls, restaurants, etc!

3. Keep it clean! Clean your sheets, floors, furniture, and clothing often. Do not hang laundry outside to dry as this will collect pollen and other allergens! Shower at the end of each day to get any allergens off of your body before bed! Hand washing is important! Wash your hands often and especially after being outside.

4. Protect yourself while out and about! Remember that the highest levels of allergens are in the early am. Try to plan outings after 10 am when possible to avoid peak levels! Wear a dust and pollen mask and sunglasses if high pollen levels and needing to be outdoors.

Play it safe and stay healthy!!!

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