Retirees May Face Allergies at Home

Dr. Scott Oberhoff discusses allergies in older adults on KEYE

ADC Allergist Scottt Oberhoff, MD talks discusses allergies in older adults and shares advice on what you can do to help offset symptoms in this interview with KEYE Austin.

Why do some retirees see an increase in allergy symptoms?

People who have recently retired and are spending more time at home, may begin seeing changes in their health.  Dr. Scott Oberhoff, said he sees plenty of older individuals who make appointments after retiring. Often, their symptoms stem from indoor allergies

“As they get older and their exposure is changing and immune system is changing a bit, they are seeing more of those symptoms,” said Oberhoff.

Oberhoff says even if someone has lived in the same house for decades, they can still begin having indoor allergies once they retired and spend more time at home.  Indoor allergens like dog dander, dust mites, and mold are usually to blame. Cleaning and sweeping only goes so far.  Dust mites are especially tough to get rid of, according to Oberhoff.

“They’re really in everybody’s house so it has very little to do with cleanliness,” said Oberhoff. “So, a lot of people do find it confusing.”

If you start showing symptoms, Oberhoff recommends getting an allergy test so you understand what is causing the problem.

“Figuring out what you’re allergic to and trying to avoid it,” said Oberhoff.

What can you do to offset indoor allergens?

Before rushing to a pharmaceutical fix, Oberhoff often tells patients to try options like specific pillow or zip covers for dust mites, air-purifiers or de-humidifiers for mold, and frequent bathing of pets. It also helps to keep pets out of the bedroom.  Freezing things like pillows, blankets, and toys, or washing them in very hot water can also kill dust mites. Special vacuum filters can also help ride your home of allergens. Oberhoff also suggests that patients take a short trip or vacation away from their home to see if their home is the problem.


Sarah Navoy, KEYE News