As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to certain health issues, and one of these issues is food allergies. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, food allergies affect about 6% of adults over the age of 60. For senior citizens, food allergies can be dangerous and can lead to serious health problems.
The most common food allergies in seniors are to shellfish, nuts, and peanuts. Other allergens include milk, eggs, wheat, and soy. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe, and can include itching, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Seniors & Allergies
Senior citizens may be more likely to develop food allergies due to changes in their immune systems. As we age, our immune system may not function as well as it used to, and this can make us more susceptible to allergies. Additionally, seniors may have a higher risk of developing other conditions, such as asthma or eczema, which can increase the likelihood of having a food allergy.
If you are a senior citizen with an food allergy, it is important to take steps to avoid the allergen. This may mean reading food labels carefully, asking questions at restaurants, and carrying an epinephrine auto-injector.
It is also important to be aware of potential cross-contamination. This occurs when an allergen encounters a food that does not normally contain it. For example, if a knife used to cut peanuts is then used to cut a piece of bread, the bread may become contaminated with peanut residue. To avoid cross-contamination, it is recommended to use separate utensils and cooking surfaces when preparing allergen-free foods.
In conclusion, food allergies can be a serious health issue for senior citizens, but by taking proper precautions and being vigilant about potential allergens, seniors can minimize the risk of an allergic reaction.
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