If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from summer allergies, you know how challenging it can be to enjoy the warm weather. Seasonal allergies, which occur during specific times of the year, are caused by exposure to certain allergens in the environment. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what summer allergies are, what causes them, and how you can manage your symptoms.
What are summer allergies?
Summer allergies are caused by exposure to allergens that are more prevalent during the warmer months. The summer allergy season typically lasts from May to September in the Northern Hemisphere.
Common summer allergens include:
- Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds (#1 cause of summer allergies)
- Ragweed (one of the most common summer allergens)
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
- Insect bites
The symptoms of summertime allergies are similar to allergy symptoms experienced during any other time of year. They can include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itching or tingling in the throat
- Shortness of breath
- Tightening of the chest
How to Manage Summer Allergies
There are several steps you can take to manage your summer allergies:
Limit contact with allergens:
If possible, stay indoors when pollen counts are high and keep windows and doors closed. When you go outside, wear a dust mask or respirator to reduce your exposure to airborne allergens. There are certain places that help predict allergen forecasts so that you can make better decisions regarding your outdoor activities.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when you’re outdoors. This will help to keep pollen and other allergens from coming into contact with your skin. It is also recommended to wear some type of face covering to limit the amount of allergens inhaled.
Shower after being outside:
Take a shower or bath and wash your hair as soon as you come inside. This will remove any pollen or other allergens that you may have picked up while you were outdoors. Make sure your clothes get into the hamper or are even stored away from your immediate area to prevent allergens from becoming airborne.
Take an antihistamine:
Over-the-counter antihistamines can help to reduce the symptoms of summer allergies. In some cases, certain antihistamines can also be used proactively to prevent or decrease allergy symptoms. Be sure to read the label carefully and follow the directions.
Keep the house clean and slightly humid:
Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth to remove allergens from your home. You may also want to use a humidifier to keep the air in your home slightly moist (approximately 30-50%). The increased humidity will help to keep dust mites from proliferating. You should also wash all bedding and rugs in hot water to kill dust mites and eliminate other allergens. Finally, running the air conditioner can help to purify the air inside your home.
In this blog, we discussed summer allergies: what they are, what causes them, and how to manage your symptoms. Summer allergies can put a damper on your summer fun, but there are ways to manage your symptoms and enjoy the season. Follow the tips above to keep your allergies under control so you can make the most of summertime. If your symptoms are still severe, you may also want to consult with an ENT specialist for additional treatment options.