Coughing, sneezing and watery eyes can be greatly feared symptoms during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but during the spring, the culprit could simply be allergies. As pollen fills the air, seniors may find themselves struggling to breath and presenting with cold/flu/COVID-like symptoms. Studies show that changes occur to the immune system as we grow older putting us at a higher risk for allergy inflammation. Many seniors also battle other chronic conditions that can make diagnosing and managing seasonal allergies even more difficult.
Caregivers of elderly persons should inform the patients’ medical providers as soon as they notice any allergy symptoms. Traditional symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes. Patients with dementia-related illnesses or any type of cognitive decline may not be able to communicate these symptoms and advocate for assistance on their own. Allergies can be treated so it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible so that allergies do not impact other medical issues.
Prolonged, untreated allergy symptoms in seniors with other conditions like cardiovascular or lung disease can lead to life-threatening complications. Caregivers should not attempt to diagnose and treat allergy symptoms without the direction of a medical provider. While most people treat their allergies with over-the-counter antihistamines, those may be dangerous to the elderly, especially in combination with other medications.
Some doctors prescribe nasal steroids or look for holistic approaches to managing seasonal allergies in seniors. There may also be ways to minimize exposure to allergens. Medication may then be approached when some of these more natural options are exhausted.
At Stouffer Legal, we care about the health and well-being of our seniors as well as their caregivers. Allergy season can be a trying time, but there are ways to cope without putting loved ones in danger of being over-medicated or worse. For more information on caring for elderly loved ones contact the experienced elder law attorneys for a consultation on any of the following issues:
- Drafting caregiver compensation agreements.
- Developing estate planning documents like wills, trusts, power of attorney forms, and medical planning forms like DNRs, advance directives and living wills.
- Creating long-term care plans that take into account living arrangements, medical needs and affordability.
You can schedule an appointment at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at email@example.com.