Six Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies

 Six Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies

Spring is here, with flowers, grass, and for a lot of us, allergies. If you suspect your allergies are getting worse over time, returning after a long break, or starting for the first time, you may be right. One of the ironies of life is that as we age, our immune systems have more chances to develop adverse reactions to seasonal allergies. Here are some tips to help you survive the season:

1. Use an air conditioner, fan, or humidifier to keep your home cool. Minimize time spent with your windows open.

2. Check pollen levels before you travel. The National Pollen site publishes allergy forecasts just like the weather station. Check areas that you are travelling and try to pick places where the forecast is low.

3. Make sure your doctor knows. Prescription allergy medicine may be more effective for you, and your doctor can make sure that it doesn’t interfere with any other medications you may take.

4. Avoid mowing and gardening as much as possible. If you must, take your medication and prescribed and wear a paper respiratory mask to minimize your exposure.

5. Wearing sunglasses is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent allergens from getting in the eyes. Once someone who has allergies begins rubbing their eyes, they unwittingly spread pollen around.

6. Shower and change after spending time outside to get rid of any allergens that might be in your hair, on your skin, and attached to your clothing.
Source: Matt Newton |

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Getting Educated about Alzheimer’s Disease

Getting Educated about Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive, irreversible disorder of the brain and the most common form of dementia. The disease affects the cognitive parts of the brain that are involved in thinking, remembering, and using language. It can severely impair a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Dementia isn’t a specific disease, but rather a general term to describe any loss or decline in brain function that affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior, and is serious enough to interfere with daily functions. There are numerous types of dementia, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent.

Alzheimer’s Statistics
Alzheimer’s disease typically affects people age 60 or older, and your risk of developing the disease doubles every 5 years after the age of 65. An estimated 5.2 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, as of a 2014 report released by the Alzheimer’s Association. About 5 million of these people are over the age of 65. According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the 5th leading cause of death in people age 65 and older.

Alzheimer’s Causes and Risk Factors
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the excessive shrinking of certain brain tissues, which occurs when neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and eventually die. It’s not known how this process begins, but the brains of people with Alzheimer’s contain amyloid plaques (which are abnormal protein deposits between neurons) and neurofibrillary tangles (twisted strands of a protein called tau) that likely affect neurons. Research suggests that the genes you inherit may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. Other risk factors include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Preventing Alzheimer’s
Making healthy choices like eating healthy, moderate alcohol, an active lifestyle, and adequate sleep may slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association has developed a checklist of common symptoms to help you recognize the difference between normal age-related memory changes and possible warning signs of Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association stresses that it’s critical for people diagnosed with dementia and families to receive info, care and support as early as possible.

Early Warning Signs

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • New problems with writing / speaking
  • Confusion with time and place
  • Poor or decreased judgment
  • Problems with abstract thinking
  • Misplacing things
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Trouble understanding visual images
  • Withdrawing from social activities

To view the full checklist, visit