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Are Allergy Shots Safe for Elderly?

By Home Care Assistance, 8:00 am on

Older people frequently experience problems with seasonal allergies, but their treatment programs often differ from that of younger adults. If you provide home care for an aging parent or loved one experiencing seasonal allergies, allergy shot treatments may be beneficial and can also help him or her avoid medications that cause unpleasant side effects. Your loved one’s physician will take some factors into consideration before starting a therapy plan that involves injections.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Some seniors who have underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias and blood clots may not be good candidates to receive allergy shots. Beta-blockers are medications that are commonly used to treat cardiovascular illness, and they may increase the chances for an adverse reaction to the injections. Additionally, if a frail individual has an allergic response to a shot, he or she may need to be treated with epinephrine in order to reverse the reaction. Epinephrine can cause people with cardiovascular disease to have additional heart problems.

Allergy Shot Composition

If a senior’s physician approves the patient for therapy, the allergy shots will be carefully administered and monitored for untoward effects. The injections are comprised of small amounts of allergens and sterile saline, and they are designed to stop histamine reactions by getting the body used to the offending substance. Commonly injected materials include:

  • Mold spores
  • Animal dander
  • Venom from insects
  • Dust mites
  • Grass, weed or tree pollen

Therapy Regimens

The injections are given just under the skin and are administered one or two times a week in the beginning. The exposure to the allergens is carefully increased until patients are receiving the full dose weekly for approximately five months. The shots are then given every two weeks for about five more months. If the patient responds well to treatment, the injections will occur monthly for up to five years.

Although allergy shots require a lot of time and effort, they can be a good option for the right candidate. If you are concerned that the frequency of allergy shots requires more time than you have, consider part-time home care in Vancouver where a trained caregiver can provide reliable transportation and accompaniment to your loved one’s scheduled medical appointments, as well as assistance with other daily activities.

For more information about senior health or caring for an aging loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Vancouver and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Case Manager. We are available to help 24/7 and can answer any questions you may have about in-home senior care. Call 778-279-3634 – we look forward to hearing from you.