Summer can be a fun and exciting time of year for many people. Outdoor adventures, swimming, gardening, and vacations fill the long days and warm nights. Summertime allergies are also a reality for many, but they don’t have to stop you from enjoying the season. Treatment and prevention can help you to beat Summer allergies.
What am I Allergic to?
Maybe you think you’re just allergic to Summer, but allergies are usually specific. If you know what is causing your allergies, you’ll be able to avoid it or treat it more effectively.
Common Summer Allergens:
* Grass and Weed Pollen
* Insect stings and bites
* Animal dander
* Dust mites
* Air pollution
Types of Allergic Reactions:
* Watery and itchy eyes
* Skin rash
* Inflammation of airways
There are a few ways to figure out what may be causing your allergies. Your first line of defense is always your skill of observation. Pay attention to where you are and what is around you when you experience an allergic reaction. If you are indoors, it’s likely mold, dust mites, or animal dander. If you are outside, it may be pollen or air pollution. Logging your allergic reactions in a journal or on a calendar might help.
If you aren’t sure what may be causing your allergies, see a doctor. They can do blood tests and skin tests to identify the exact causes of your allergies. Knowing what causes your allergies will help you to treat and prevent them.
How to Prevent Allergies
Indoor allergies like dust mites, dander, and mold can be managed by maintaining a clean environment. Limiting clutter where allergens can accumulate, regularly vacuuming or sweeping, dusting surfaces, and laundering linens will keep these allergens in check.
Managing indoor humidity is another way to help. Mold and dust mites thrive in a high-humidity environment. Aim for 30% to 50% humidity indoors. Running your air conditioner, replacing air filters, using additional air filters, and using a dehumidifier can help manage a healthy indoor environment.
Outdoor allergies can be managed by wearing a mask, especially when mowing the lawn or blowing debris, covering your skin in breathable fabric, and using topical insect repellents. Showering after being outdoors for extended periods or after being in areas with a high pollen count will keep you from bringing those allergens indoors with you.
There are many effective over-the-counter remedies for allergies. Many people can successfully manage their allergies this way. They include:
* Oral antihistamines and decongestants
* Eye drops
* Nasal corticosteroids and antihistamines
* Nasal/sinus irrigation
* Topical steroid creams for bites or rashes
* Ice for bites or rashes
* Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling for insect bites or sinuses
If you find that over-the-counter remedies don’t work well or don’t work well enough, seeing your doctor for prescription medication will help. They may suggest additional or different treatments such as:
* Prescription-strength steroid cream
* Prescription-strength nasal spray, eye drops, or oral treatment
* Epinephrine shots to be used at home as needed in case of anaphylaxis
If you believe that you are having an urgent allergic reaction or trouble breathing, you may need to seek urgent care or call emergency services for immediate help.
Allergies don’t have to mean the end of Summer fun if you know how to manage them. Seek treatment for your symptoms so that you can enjoy the season.