As the weather begins to warm up, the change in environment can prove trying for seniors living with allergies. Seasonal allergies affect approximately 30 percent of adults in the U.S., according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and symptoms brought on by these complications can often progress as we get older. While the change in temperatures and fluctuations of pollens can trigger symptoms when you least expect it, there are still many ways to ward off allergies in order to maintain active senior living. If you’re anticipating allergy action this spring, check out these tips for protecting yourself this season:

Don’t ignore the signs
If you’re noticing your allergies are starting to act up more than normal, taking action sooner rather than later is always a good idea. Even if you’re already taking medication, notifying your physician when you feel your symptoms are becoming more severe may provide you with the swift change of treatment you need. Sometimes, the over-the-counter drugs or prescribed medication you’ve been taking aren’t strong enough, leaving you more susceptible to sneezing, runny eyes or any other allergic reaction. If this is the case, talk with your doctor about getting a stronger medication, so that you have the allergy defense you need.

Eat healthy
The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has long been used for emphasizing the truth in healthy eating. The fact is that adding fruits and vegetables into your daily diet can also do wonders for your allergies. According to Public Broadcasting Station, consuming dark leafy greens are an incredible source for anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which in turn have been noted to significantly limit the effect seasonal allergies can have upon your overall health.

In addition, eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids has also been recommended for anyone trying to fight back against seasonal allergies. These foods include salmon, herring, albacore tuna, walnuts and mackerels, which are all found to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. Adding a few servings of these types of foods in your daily diet may be the difference between an allergy-free day or much time spent running for the tissues.

Stay hydrated
It cannot be stated enough how important keeping your body hydrated is for boosting your defense against seasonal allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult male should be drinking around 13 cups, or 3 liters of water a day, while the average woman should be consuming around 9 cups, or 2.2 liters. However, seniors who are living with seasonal allergies should be drinking even more water than what is typically recommended. PBS also states that the more water you’re putting into your body, the more support you provide to help with draining various pollens or mold out of your nasal passages, as well as tears to protect your eyes. It’s important to keep the importance of hydration in mind, especially as spring comes into full swing.

Be aware of your environment
Of course, depending on where you’re spending the majority of your time, environmental factors are the biggest proponent to aggravating allergy symptoms. If too much pollen in the air commonly triggers an allergic reaction, you’ll want to check out the website for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology to monitor when levels of pollen in your area are considered high. Try to keep your windows closed at night to avoid excess molds and pollens from infiltrating your house, and consider investing in a dehumidifier if you’re spending a lot of time indoors with the air conditioning on.

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