Healthline January 2016

Page 10

Seniors Coping with Seasonal Allergies and Allergy Induced COPD Seasonal allergies occur in an estimated 40-60 million people in the US each year. Allergic rhinitis is a medical term used for hay fever and seasonal allergies. While a number of environmental allergens can cause symptoms, research indicates that almost 75% of people in the US who suffer from seasonal allergies are allergic to ragweed. These lead not only to annoying allergy symptoms, but also allergy-induced asthma and exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory conditions in the elderly, especially those with compromised immune systems. Food allergies can make environmental allergies worse and should be looked into as well. Natural alternatives should be tried before jumping to the use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications (anti-histamines, corticosteroids, decongestants) as they have unwanted side-effects like dry mouth, eyes and nose, drowsiness, fatigue, restlessness, abdominal distress, risk of bleeding and easy bruising, mental fog, heart palpitations, sleep issues, blurred vision and at worst, confusion. These can have serious consequences due to drug


MD, ABIM, ABIHM, IFMCP Dr. Ghei is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. She is the Founder and Medical Director of Praana Integrative Medicine & Holistic Health Center, PLLC, in Sugar Land, TX. She recieved her Functional Medicine certification from the esteemed IFM.


Healthline | Jan - April 2016 |

interactions in seniors who commonly are already on multiple prescription medications for other medical conditions. Allergies are immune disorders. The older population is particularly susceptible to a weakened immune system after physical trauma or surgery, underlying illnesses, or during times of emotional and physical stress.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.