Treating Seasonal Allergies: Special Tips for Seniors

Living in Florida means warm temperatures, sunny skies, and tropical foliage year-round. It also means there’s always something in bloom – it’s always allergy season! Unfortunately, doctors are seeing more cases of late-onset allergies, which mean even seniors who have never experienced allergies before may find that pollen has started to cause a reaction. While antihistamines are a quick and easy solution for many people in younger demographics, they may not be an option for some seniors because of potential side-effects. So how can you enjoy the Sunshine State’s perpetual summer weather without suffering from its frequently high pollen counts?

Eat the Right Foods

Many nutritionists recommend eating foods that fight inflammation as a way of reducing allergy symptoms. Such foods include avocados, fish, citrus and other foods high in vitamin C, and leafy greens. Many such foods are naturally plentiful in Florida!

On the other hand, foods to limit include those that cause inflammation – sugar and anything processed, refined, or fried.

Keep Pollen Outside

Though you may be tempted to keep your windows open to let the tropical breeze in, or let the Florida sun naturally dry your clothes on the line, neither of these are recommended if you suffer from allergies. Pollen can easily fill your home through open windows, and it can cling to wet clothes, embedding into fabrics as they dry. Though it might not be your preference, using your air conditioner and dryer can help reduce allergy symptoms.


Minimize Contact with Allergens

Just because you’re suffering from allergies doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors at all times. Pollen counts are usually lower after it has rained. Try to get out during this time. Regularly check the weather and keep an eye out for high pollen counts. If it is especially high, you may want to keep your time outdoors limited.

Additionally, if you are outdoors for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to shower and wash your hair as soon as you go inside. This will help prevent the pollen from spreading around your home.


Keep the Air Clean

While keeping windows closed and clothes off the line does help to keep pollen out of your home, it’s impossible to restrict its entry completely. Air flows in and out whenever doors are opened and some amount of pollen will come with it. To limit indoor pollen as much as possible, consider getting a HEPA certified air purifier. Only HEPA certified purifiers are able to filter out large and small air-born allergen particles.

If you think you may be suffering from allergies, talk to you doctor right away, especially if you have cardiovascular issues, which can be aggravated by allergens. If making any dietary changes in order to minimize allergy symptoms, mention this to your doctor as well. He or she may be able make further recommendations to help reduce symptoms if antihistamines are not an option.