Community Blog

Does Your Parent Have Fall Allergies?

By Denise Roskamp

Many people associate seasonal allergies with summer when all the flowers are in bloom. However, fall allergies are also common. The fall brings a whole new host of allergens that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. If your parent seems under the weather, it may not be a cold or the flu, it could be allergies.

Causes of Fall Allergies

There are several things that can trigger allergies in the fall. Some of them are:

  • Ragweed: Ragweed causes what is often called “hay fever.” Ragweed starts pollenating in the middle of August and generally continues until the first hard freeze, depending on the area of the country. People who are allergic to ragweed can also be affected by some fruits and vegetables, like melon and zucchini.
  • Mold: Mold spores are present in wet places during the autumn months, such as in piles of wet leaves.
  • Dust Mites: The dust mites that have been lying dormant in the furnace and air ducts are stirred up when the furnace is turned on for the first time.

Allergy Symptoms

The symptoms of fall allergies may include:

  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Itchy nose and eyes.
  • Circles under the eyes.

Combatting Allergies

There are several things that can be done to help older adults with fall allergies. Of course, the first thing is to see a doctor who can perform a skin test to determine what your parent is allergic to. The doctor may recommend medication to treat allergy symptoms. In addition to taking medications, there are several ways to help your parent manage symptoms, such as:

  • Avoid Triggers: Plan your parent’s outings during times of the day when pollen counts are a little lower. Allergens are often at their peak during the late morning hours and at midday.
  • Keep Doors and Windows Closed: This will help to keep pollen and mold spores outside.
  • Clean Heating Ducts: Before your parent turns on their heat for the first time in the fall, have the ducts cleaned and make sure the filter is changed. A HEPA filter will help reduce allergens in the air.
  • Use a Dehumidifier: Keep the humidity in the house in the range of 35 to 50 percent to reduce mold spores.

Home care providers can help your parent to manage allergy symptoms. They can remind your parent to take the medications recommended by the doctor. A home care provider can also help keep the house free of dust by assisting with housecleaning. During peak allergen times, a home care provider can plan indoor activities to keep your parent occupied.

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/fall-allergy-relief#1
http://acaai.org/news/four-things-you-might-not-know-about-fall-allergies
http://acaai.org/news/fighting-fall-allergies-bring-it
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/seasonal-allergies-4-routes-to-relief#1

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE SERVICES IN NATICK, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.