Summer is a time for vacations, lots of outdoor activity and relaxation. If you suffer from summer allergies you’re probably experiencing symptoms such as nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, scratchy throat and cough. Having seasonal allergies can spoil summer fun and vacations, but they can be prevented. Below we talk about some of the biggest summer allergens and some tips to help reduce reactions to them.
Summer Allergy Triggers
The biggest culprits that cause allergy symptoms during the summer months are grass and weed pollens. Stinging insects are active outside just as people are in the summer as well, posing a problem if you have an allergic reaction. Mold is another problem. Mold thrives in damp areas such as basements and bathrooms, made moister with the summer humidity. Dust mites nest in beds, fabric and carpets and thrive in warm, humid temperatures, peaking during the summer. Dust mites peak during the summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures.
To make matters worse, summer air pollution can make your symptoms worse. One of the most common is ozone at the ground level. It’s created in the atmosphere from a mix of sunlight and chemicals from car exhaust. Summer’s strong sunlight and calm winds create clouds of ozone around some cities.
10 Tips To Reduce Summer Allergies
Here are some tips for living with and reducing the misery from summer allergies:
- When traveling in your car, keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner.
- Wear a mask when you mow your lawn to avoid grass pollen.
- If you have a severe allergy to bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants and other insects, wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors and be careful near outdoor garbage cans, where yellow jackets often congregate.
- After returning from the outdoors, shower, wash your hair and change clothing. It is best not to do this in your bedroom.
- Apply saline drops to your eyes to wash away pollen once inside.
- Keep indoor windows closed and use the air conditioner to filter the air in your home.
- For molds, paint the bathroom walls with mold-resistant enamel paint. Check the basement for mildew and mold and scrub any surfaces where it is present with bleach.
- Clean the air filters in your home often.
- Wash bedding and rugs in warm or hot water to get rid of dust mites and allergens.
- Keep the humidity in your house between 30% and 50% so dust mites won’t thrive.
Taking steps like those above to decrease your exposure to summer allergens can improve your allergy symptoms. For some people, this alone may be enough. For others, medication and can help. Our board certified allergists at Advanced Allergy and Asthma are here to help. As well as summer allergies, we treat food, insect, medicine, and skin allergies, as well as sinus infections and asthma. Our offices are located in Fairfield County, CT in the towns of Danbury, New Milford, Ridgefield and Norwalk.
- Jonathan Bell, MD