While most first-time allergies in adults occur in those in their early 40’s, seniors are not immune to this health issue. If you provide home care for an aging parent or loved one and have noticed that he or she is experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and wheezing, he or she may have developed seasonal allergies.
Old Allergies Brought Back to Life
Sudden-onset seasonal allergies that seem new can actually be childhood allergies that have laid dormant, only to return when your loved one’s immune system is weaker. If a senior is exposed to a seasonal allergen more now than when they were younger, it may also trigger an attack.
Why Do Some Allergies Take So Long to Show?
According to studies on asthma and immunology, a person can be exposed to an allergen for three to five years before the immune system reacts to it. Oftentimes, something has changed in the environment that brought on the symptoms, such as being exposed to a substance they were not exposed to before.
An example of this is someone who was raised in a dry climate and retires to a warmer, moister climate, experiencing a seemingly sudden allergy to blooming trees. Scientists have hypothesized that those who have previously lived in extremely clean environments may react to normally innocuous things such as common weed and grass pollens.
Finding Treatment Options
The most common senior allergies are to mold, animal dander, dust mites and pollen. If you notice that your loved one is experiencing any sudden-onset symptoms, schedule an appointment with his or her doctor or primary care physician. The doctor will be able to run a few tests to determine what allergen is causing any reactions or symptoms and can prescribe treatment options. In more extreme cases, he or she may be able to recommend your loved one to an allergist for more customized treatment options.
It is also important to keep in mind that some over-the-counter allergy medications can have adverse reactions with other medications. It is important to seek assistance from your loved one’s doctor even when allergy symptoms do not seem severe to ensure that any medications taken are safe.
For more information about senior health, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Toronto today. Our highly trained caregivers are available for hourly and live-in home care in Toronto, Etobicoke and surrounding communities, and can assist with daily activities ranging from personal care to transportation for medical appointments. Call us today at 416-488-8777 and request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.