Warm air, sunshine-filled days and blooming flora and fauna. After a long and chill-filled winter, spring in South Dakota is warmly anticipated. Not so anticipated are those symptoms created by all that re-wakening of nature. Sneezing, water eyes, stuffy and runny noses. Spring allergies can affect everyone; elderly population included. Seniors are just as likely to suffer from the uncomfortable and persistent symptoms of springtime allergies but face factors that often make dealing with allergies more complicated.
Where seniors exhibit the same traditional signs of allergies, those signs are often overlooked by senior living staff or medical personnel as they deal with the more serious health issues that seniors often face in. Caregivers need to pay special attention to these problems however as they can have farther reaching effects than when present in younger generations. For those with respiratory or cardiovascular problems, chest or nasal congestion and sore throats caused by seasonal allergies can become dangerous to an elderly person. These symptoms and issues should be treated as soon as possible. Seniors who experience allergy-induced asthma need special attention as their symptoms can have deadly effects on those with other serious health issues.
It is important for anyone treating the elderly to understand that the use of antihistamines for the relief of seasonal allergies is not recommended. They prove to be particularly dangerous in senior populations. Side effects include dizziness, dry mouth and eyes, confusion and even urine retention. Antihistamines also have the potential for dangerous interactions with their other medications and can even cause changes in mood and behavior.
Understanding the full spectrum of senior health challenges and needs, the wellness staff at Pine Hills Retirement Community is always focused on keeping seniors happily enjoying the beauty of spring for many years to come.