Elder Care in Seattle WA: Planning for Spring Allergies
(ARA) – For many people, spring represents the budding of flowers and longer days filled with warm sunshine. But for 1 in 5 individuals, spring also means allergies are in full swing.
Seasonal allergies, also described as allergic rhinitis, cause cold-like signs such as itchy nose, roof of the mouth, throat, eyes and ears, along with watery eyes, runny nose, congestion and sneezing. But different from a cold, allergies are not caused by a virus; they are brought on by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as mold, trees, pollen and pet dander.
Allergies, which have an affect on an estimated 60 million people in the United States both young and old, can genuinely have its effects on your daily routine, and they are a problem both in daily life and professionally. Regardless if you’re bothered year-round or during a specific season, finding out how to cope with allergy symptoms can be very important to helping with your relaxation and quality of life.
This condition can also be expensive. From 2000 to 2005, the expense of treating allergic rhinitis nearly doubled from $6.1 billion to $11.2 billion, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. the majority of that was spent on prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many experts advise patients purchase store-brand, over-the-counter medicines as an effective means of dealing with both the allergy ailment and its linked fees.
“There are a number of effective over-the-counter treatments to address the symptoms of seasonal allergies,” says Dr. William Berger, professor of allergy and immunology at the University of California, Irvine. “In fact, to help patients save money, I would recommend many of the store-brand, non-sedating antihistamines sold at leading retailers and pharmacies, such as Cetirizine or Loratadine. These products are approved by the FDA, but cost significantly less than the brand names.”
According to Berger, many allergy sufferers could find greater relief of their symptoms by taking one of these newer, more beneficial treatments now obtainable in the aisle, like Fexofenadine, which just switched from prescription to over-the-counter in 2011.
“Effective management with medicines, ideally before the allergy symptoms start, is key,” he says.
When an aging loved one must have elder care, understanding of the interactions between over-the-counter medications and the elderly person’s prescription drugs is very important.
You may think that over-the-counter (OTC) medications are always harmless. But if you are elderly and prescription medications, this kind of thinking can get you into some distress.
“The average number of prescription medications taken by people over 65 is five or six,” says Michael H. Perskin, MD, an assistant professor of medicine and an internist at the New York University Langone Medical Center. “As you get older, it increases and so does the potential for drug interactions.”
So how can you find effective comfort from arthritis and other pain, and cold or allergy symptoms? “When in doubt, ask your pharmacist,” Perskin says. “If you have taken the medication before, it’s probably OK. But if it’s new or your other medication regimen has changed, check it out.”
Elder care caregivers can help find out about the drugs you are taking and help with contacting your pharmacist to make sure there are no interactions. You can find more info about the symptoms and treatments for allergic rhinitis at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (www.aaaai.org), or the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (www.acaai.org).
If you or your aging loved one would like information about how elder care at home can help your family, contact Andelcare. We help many seniors, veterans and disabled in Seattle and the surrounding communities by providing quality and affordable home care. Call 425-283-0408.