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Serious Allergy Treatment For Older Folks: Is There A Cut-Off Age For Getting The Shots?

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Dealing with allergies can be tough, but dealing with them when you're older is really tough, especially if you're managing other health complications. If you've had enough of the regular, off-the-shelf products letting you down with broken promises, consider the possibility of allergy shots, which, although not as commonly used in elderly populations, can be impressively effective.

Why Allergies May Be Worse As You Age

Unfortunately, as the human body gets on in years, the immune system becomes less effective at producing defensive cells. That means you're more susceptible to viruses, bacteria and allergies. In addition, allergies add to other age-related complications, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and more. For example, allergies in the presence of emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) could be extremely aggravating or even life-threatening.

How Traditional Over-The-Counter Treatments Can Be Counter-Productive

Medications you may be taking (for other conditions) could interact with allergy solutions, making it difficult to address your symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and scratchy throat. Hence, the more meds you're prescribed for other ailments, the less apt your physician may be to recommend specific OTC treatments. Also, antihistamines cause drowsiness and dizziness, two side-effects you probably don't want to risk if you already face mobility and balance challenges.

Some older forms of allergy treatment will cause you to retain urine, too, something that could adversely affect your bladder health. Other side-effects include the possibility of dry-mouth syndrome (which could compound an existing problem caused by other medications) and even confusion and that's not a scenario any senior wants to deal with. 

The Potential For Allergy Shots If You're Approaching The Golden Years

The more effective and long-term solution of allergy shots could be just the right treatment, although it's not an "instant" cure. Shots take place over a period of months, after you've been thoroughly screened to determine precisely what you're allergic to. The injections work by teaching your immune system to ignore the triggers that are driving you crazy, with calculated quantities of the actual allergen going into your system.

Specifically for the elderly population, these shots are proving beneficial, particularly in consideration of the problems associated with antihistamine use or with leaving the allergies untreated. If your allergies are bothersome, but not too severe, ask your doctor about self-administered drops, which aren't usually as potent as the shots; however, they could solve your problem of drug-interactions inhibiting your ability to take traditional OTC allergy products.

Allergy shots aren't anything to sneeze at, especially if you've already tried everything else or if everything else you try interferes with other medications. Have a serious conversation with your physician about this serious allergy treatment and ask if you can't give it a shot. If you have other questions, contact a company like North Texas Allergy.