During the summer, allergy sufferers are exposed to many new types of allergens. In the United States, roughly one in five people have allergy symptoms. When the weather gets hotter and the sun is shining all day long, allergens in the air increase, causing problems for many people. Since many plants are in full bloom and many new environmental factors are present during the summer months, this time of year can be challenging for anyone with allergies.
As it is in the spring, the pollen count during the summer can be exceptionally high. During the summer, some the biggest pollen contributors are ragweed, pigweed, and tumbleweed. Certain types of grasses, such as Bermuda and orchard grasses, can contribute to the pollen as well. Many types of plants such as these arrive in the summer and can raise the pollen count. The pollen from many types of plants can be carried by the wind over long distances. So, even if you aren’t close to any of these allergens, you could still be exposed to them. To avoid pollen, those with this allergy should stay indoors with the windows closed as much as possible on high pollen days. Also, when exposed to pollen, they should shower and wash the clothing that was exposed.
Many insects could be the source of summer allergies as well. During the summer, many insects begin to return. Insects such as wasps, hornets, fire ants, and many others can all cause allergic reactions for some people. Depending on the area, these insects are most active during the later summer and early fall months. Their bites and stings could be severe and could cause anaphylaxis for some people. To avoid these insects, people should stay away from heavily grassy areas and use insect repellant whenever possible.
Environmental factors can also be the cause of summertime allergies. Air pollution can lead to increased ozone during the summer because of the increased sunlight. The ozone can linger in cloud-like concentrations and cause allergy problems. The increase in humidity during this time of year can also affect those with mold allergies. The increase in humidity increases the number of mold spores in the air. Those who have this allergy should avoid being outside as much as possible during high mold count days.
If you believe you may be suffering from allergies, watch for the following symptoms:
- Watery eyes
- Stuffy or Runny nose
“For those suffering with summertime allergies, medicines like antihistamines, nasal steroids, or decongestants could help ease the symptoms,” says Tena Miller, PA-C. “However, check with your doctor or pharmacist if these medications are safe when combined with your other medications. Also if symptoms persist, you should contact your doctor for evaluation.”
Tena Miller, PA-C is a Physician’s Assistant at the Jersey Shore Medical Associates Internal Medicine Office on Kerr Avenue in Jersey Shore. Tena may be reached by calling 570-398-1991.