The spring pollen vortex could be bad news for allergy sufferers
After surviving the polar vortex of the winter of 2013-14, the spring of 2014 is bringing with it a pollen vortex, which means bad news for seniors with allergies.
The Environmental Protection Agency said that climate-related temperature changes are strengthening airborne allergens. Increases in pollen concentration, the potency of allergens and the length of allergy season are all associated with a rise in allergy symptoms. Even people who've never had issues with allergies could develop symptoms.
"It's more than just a nuisance for some people," Dr. Sally Joo Bailey, assistant professor of allergy and immunology at Georgetown University, told the Washington Post. "On some really bad days, if you have pollen allergies, you could have a severe asthma attack. When your nasal area gets inflamed because of allergies, it doesn't just stop there. It can get into your lungs."
AARP suggested that:
- If older adults take allergy medications, they begin taking them before allergy season is in full swing.
- When pollen counts are high, limit time spent outside. If seniors do you have to go outdoors, they should wear a hat and dark glasses to help block pollen in the air.
- When they return home, older individuals with allergies should shower, washing their hair, and then changing their clothes to avoid tracking pollen around the house.
Senior care services can assist older adults who suffer from allergies by determining whether it's safe for patients to venture outside and ensuring they take their allergy medicine at the right time each day.