For many, spring represents the budding of flowers and longer days filled with warm sunshine. But for one in five people, spring also means allergies are in full scope.
Seasonal allergies, also termed allergic rhinitis, cause cold-like characteristics and symptoms which include itchiness in the 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 note precipitated by a virus; they are triggered by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as mold, trees, pollen and pet dander.
Allergies, which have an effect on an estimated 60 million people in the United States both young and old, can truly have its effects on your daily regimen, and they are a problem both in daily life and professionally. Regardless of whether you’re bothered all year or during a specific season, learning how to cope with allergy symptoms can be very important to reestablishing your relaxation and quality of life.
This ailment can also be expensive to take care of. From 2000 to 2005, the cost of treating allergic rhinitis nearly doubled from $6.1 billion to $11.2 billion, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Over fifty percent of that was expended on prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many experts recommend patients purchase store-brand, over-the-counter medicines as a useful means of controlling both the allergy problem and its included expenses.
“There are a number of very 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, numerous allergy sufferers should find much better relief of their symptoms by attempting one of these newer, more practical 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, understand of the interactions between over-the-counter medications and the elderly person’s prescription drugs.
You may think that over-the-counter (OTC) medications are always safe and sound. But if you are over 65 and in addition taking prescription medications, this kind of thought can get you into some difficulty.
“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 and risk-free remedy 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 counselors at Safe at Home Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care, including live-in care. We are an elder care agency providing Elder Care in Naperville.