The transitioning seasons of spring and fall are usually those that have people with allergies worried. However, the hot summer season, as much as you may like it, has its downfalls, as well. It also hides the allergens which can turn into a couple of months of a runny nose and wheezy breath. If you care to avoid this happening to you, there are steps you can take and stay in the clear.
As a person allergic to pollen you are probably used to staying away from flowers, as you naturally assume that these blooming beauties bear the most allergens, and you are right. This particularly refers to fields of wildflowers that are often home to ragweed. However, one of the things we enjoy the most in the hot season is also a great source of allergies. Most people cannot wait for spring and summer so they can enjoy the beauties of their backyard again. Little do they know that their beautiful lawn can also be a source of misery, with grass pollen which can provoke respiratory difficulties including congested nose and other typical symptoms of a cold. In order to fight this, you can forget about having an early morning coffee on your patio, as that is when the pollen counts are the highest. Keep your tumble drier in the use throughout the summer as pollen can stick to any clothes you dry outside. Assign one of your family members to do the gardening, particularly the lawn mowing, as this could only make things worse for you. If there is no chance of doing this, use a mask to protect yourself.
Another great allergen brought to you by summer hides in swimming pools. Chlorine, which is used to keep the water clean, can also provoke allergic reactions. These are actually referred to as sensitivity, rather than an allergy, but when it happens, you won’t feel the difference. An allergy to a layman is an undesired reaction to certain triggers, which in this case is chlorine. You will have the symptoms of irritant dermatitis which presents itself in form of hives and red and itchy skin. These can be made worse by existing asthma or other allergies. Having a clean-water shower immediately after using the pool will reduce the effects of chlorine. If the condition persists, you should visit a doctor and you will most likely get an antihistamine to treat the hives or corticosteroids for your rash.
Insect stings can also cause allergies, and summer brings them all out. The ones you should fear the most are ants, bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. They can cause very mild reactions such as hives, different levels of swelling as well as breeding difficulties, and cardiac arrest in extreme cases. If you are aware of your allergy, stay safe by always wearing soft colors, long sleeves, and long pants. Stay fully dressed with as little skin showing as possible. You should logically avoid green areas where you are most likely to encounter these insects. You should get prepared by getting allergy shots ahead of time to be on the safe side and reduce the effect a sting may have on you. Obtain an EpiPen which is an auto-injector of epinephrine to inject immediately after you get stung. These are recommended only to those who have strong allergic reactions.
If you enjoy summer camping, you should stay smart and dress the same way as if you were allergic to bees. This could protect you from bad rashes and other skin reactions caused by oak, poison ivy, or sumac. In case you do end up with a rash, you can buy a steroid cream that can help relieve it. There is no therapy to prepare you for these skin reactions so you should simply be careful.
Smog and spore molds
These two are not the same but they are present all year round and peak in summer with the hot and humid weather. Smog will particularly affect you in busy urban areas on a steaming sunny summer day, while airborne spore molds are at their highest after summer thunderstorms. This is when downdrafts from the storm pull out the mold spores from the ground and break them into tiny, easy-to-inhale particles.
Staying in overall good shape will certainly help with your allergies. A diet rich in vitamins can boost your immune system and keep you less prone to common triggers. This is why you should generally eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. Be aware of certain fruit associated with allergies in the summertime as they can only make things worse. They can provoke oral allergies which can cause further discomfort. Some of these are melons, cucumbers, and bananas. Do not avoid them but approach them carefully.
You can also visit your doctor and determine exactly which triggers you are allergic to and get therapy to prepare yourself for the season.
Keep the allergens out of your home
One of the must-have items in your home can cause you a lot of distress. The air conditioner sales peak in the early summer to help us fight the heat, however, we need to be aware that even a new AC unit requires our attention. While AC filters can help you filter the air and get the pollen out, they can also keep it in. Clean the filters regularly and avoid dust and pollen build-ups. Keep your pets outdoors or have them neatly groomed and wash them regularly. Air your house at night. You should have a shower and change your clothes every time you come back home to remove the pollen. Washing your hair daily will keep your pillow clean and it will cause less discomfort at night.
Allergies can be a silent killer, but most of them are not. They are a nuisance that does not let you relax. Luckily there are therapies and simple tips to follow to keep yourself away from all triggers and enjoy the summer season like any other person.