Medical Alerts for Seniors with Allergies

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Allergies

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Millions of Americans endure the uncomfortable symptoms of allergies, such as stuffy noses and watery eyes. Oftentimes, individuals may have chronic diseases or other complicating factors that make dealing with allergies more complex.In America, the sixth leading cause of chronic illness is allergies, with an annual cost of nearly $20 billion, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergies are an inflammatory condition that can have a major impact on seniors, due to immune system changes as they age.

Allergy Overview

When an individual’s immune system is aggravated by certain substances in the environment, allergies may occur. These substances in the environment are better known as allergens and can be found in pollen, pets, insects, foods and medicines, to name a few. Allergies are very common, and rates of this condition are increasing. Studies show that allergies will affect one in five people in their lifetimes.

There are a variety of causes of allergies, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Allergies, especially chronic allergies, can aggravate other health issues.For example, an allergy to pollen can aggravate existing cardiac and pulmonary conditions. Fortunately, with effective prevention and treatment options, this condition can be controlled.

Allergy Impairment

Seniors often face challenges during allergy season, since the antihistamines that are most often used to help fight the effects of allergies are not usually recommended for them. This is because these medication can increase blood pressure. Antihistamines can also interact negatively with other medications a senior may already be taking. Some allergic reactions are mild to moderate, and are barely noticeable, while other allergic reactions may be a cause of extreme irritation, inconvenience and discomfort.

Additionally, a small amount of the population may experience anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. It is a serious condition during which immediate life saving medication is required.The most common foods associated with anaphylaxis include seafood, nuts, dairy products and eggs. 

Allergy sufferers often have to endure symptoms that may disrupt their lives. The impairments include:

  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Coughing
  • Congested and runny nose
  • Fever
  • Aches and pains
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Sneezing
  • Inability to sleep
  • Fatigue and weakness
Medical Alert Benefits

If an individual has a severe allergy, an Anaphylaxis Management Plan should already be in place. However, if circumstances do not allow for the plan to be carried out successfully, medical alerts can provide peace of mind at a time of distress. Even if the condition is not severe, some effects of allergies can prevent communication, such as violent sneezing, asthma attacks and a sore and inflamed throat. A medical alert system can be an excellent resource to help during times of a medical emergency. With medical alerts, allergy sufferers can rest assured that help will be there when needed with the simple press ofa button.

The symptoms of allergies can vary, depending on the allergen and where it entered the body. Individuals may experience different symptoms. There may also be instances in which allergic reactions can involve several parts of the body simultaneously. Symptoms of allergies may include one or more of the following:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sore, scratchy throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Cough from postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Throat clearing
  • Asthma
  • Swollen or inflamed throat
  • Hives
  • Bowel issues
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Minimizing allergies requires identifying the cause, then taking the appropriate steps to reduce exposure to the allergen.

  • Sneezing: Many people suffer from dust allergies. Reducing dust in the house is crucial.This allergy makes breathing difficult and may even trigger asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest. To manage a dust allergy, one should opt for wood flooring rather than carpet, clean regularly and change furnace and air conditioning filters every three months.
  • Itching and watery Eyes: Individuals should wash their hands immediately after coming inside from outdoors. A shower should be taken as soon as any significant amount of time has been spent outside. Clothing worn outdoors should also be washed immediately. This can help to prevent pollen from being transferred to your skin and eyes.
  • Nasal congestion: Allergy sufferers should be watchful of pollen levels. Knowing the levels can help to plan outings on days during which the pollen counts are probable to be low. There are a variety of free services that can send mobile alerts when pollen counts reach certain levels.
Allergy Precautions:
  • Avoid contact with allergens: To create a safe and comfortable living environment, it is important to take the necessary steps at home to minimize exposure to allergens. Bedding should be washed weekly; carpeted floors should be vacuumed twice weekly, furniture should be dusted regularly with a damp cloth and a dehumidifier should be used throughout the home.  
  • Read food labels: It is important for individuals to avoid foods that could trigger their allergies. It is always necessary to read food labels. If dining out, allergy suffers should ask how the food is prepared.
  • Consider allergy shots: Allergy shots may be an effective way to teach the body how to react when exposed to certain allergens. Allergists inject individuals with gradually increasing doses of the allergen, to help build the immune system’s tolerance when exposed to allergens. In some cases, allergy shots have caused reactions to weaken or disappear completely.
Allergy Medical Alerts Conclusion

Allergy symptoms can sometimes be described as uncomfortable and debilitating flu-like symptoms. In the unfortunate event of a moderate to severe allergic emergency, a medical alert system can provide peace of mind. Medical alerts allow medical personnel to be contacted immediately with the push of a button. Furthermore, emergency response is available 24/7/365. Medical alert operators can also request emergency personnel if a senior presses the call button, but is unable to verbally communicate due to an allergic reaction.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.