Did you know that over 50 million Americans experience allergies each year? If you’re one of them, you know how bothersome the symptoms can be. There are a few common summer allergies. Knowing their causes, symptoms, and treatments can help you tackle your allergy.
Let’s take a look at different summer allergies and how you can soothe the symptoms.
What are Summer Allergies?
Like other allergies, summer allergies occur when your body’s immune system reacts to something in your environment. Seasonal allergies only occur during certain times of the year and are actually quite common. Not all people suffer from summer allergies as it depends on if a person has allergies and what they’re allergic to.
5 Most Common Summer Allergies
Here are the most common allergies people experience during the summer months. If you’re not sure what you’re allergic to, an allergist can perform a skin test, blood test, or discuss an elimination diet (for foods) with you.
Pollen, also known as hay fever, is one of the most common triggers of summer allergies. This is because pollen counts are higher in the summer. Pollen is a yellow powder-like substance that’s moved from plant to plant by the wind and animals. Pollen from grass, trees, and weeds is what usually causes an allergic reaction.
While pollen is great for fertilizing plants, it isn’t ideal for those who suffer from a pollen allergy. Symptoms of a pollen allergy include:
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, throat, and eyes
- Runny nose
- Red and/or watery eyes
Fortunately, there are ways to find relief from a pollen allergy. Common treatments are:
- Limiting time outdoors when pollen counts are high
- Shower daily to remove pollen from hair and skin
- Take allergy medications such as Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin to prevent or reduce most reactions
- Take an antihistamine to relieve sneezing, itching, and runny nose
- Take a decongestant to help shrink nasal passage lining and relieve stuffiness
- Essential oils in a diffuser or nasal inhaler can open your airways to help with congestion
Take a look at what BoomBoom Nasal Inhaler users have said about how this product has relieved allergy symptoms:
2. Insects That Sting
If you’re like me and love to spend time outdoors in the summer, you know all about how many insects are hanging out. Insect stings most commonly come from bees, yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants.
Symptom severity depends on the type of reaction you have.
- A normal reaction comes with pain, swelling, and redness around the sting.
- A large local reaction results in swelling beyond the area of the sting.
- A serious reaction is an allergic one where you may experience heat, pain, redness, pimple-like spots, itching, and swelling. If you experience a severe reaction, you should contact a medical care provider immediately.
Common symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of the face, throat, or mouth area
- Rapid pulse
- Upset stomach
A normal or large local reaction can be treated to provide some relief. Options for treatment include:
- Remove stinger and wash the area with soap and water before apply antiseptic
- Ice pack application to reduce swelling
- Soothing ointments such as Hydrocortisone cream or Calamine lotion
- Antihistamine medication to relieve itching, hives, and swelling
- NSAID medication such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
3. Mold Spores
The heat and humidity that summer brings create the best environment for mold to grow. Mold is a fungus that can live indoors and outdoors. Not all molds cause allergies and being allergic to one doesn’t mean you’ll react to all of them. Common mold allergy symptoms are:
- Itchy nose and mouth area
- Itchy, watery eye
- Runny nose
If you have asthma, a mold allergy can also trigger those symptoms (wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath).
If you experience mold allergy symptoms, you may find relief by:
- Eliminating mold in your home by fixing leaking faucets and pipes
- Remove carpet in your home that may be holding moisture
- Clean mold off of surfaces using vinegar
- Take an antihistamine to alleviate sneezing, itchiness, and runny nose
- Use essential oils with a nasal inhaler or diffuser to relieve stuffy nose
4. Seasonal Foods
Think about the summer produce we love: peaches, melons, berries, tomatoes, squash, and more. Those who have an allergic reaction when eating these aren’t typically reacting to the food itself. These fruits and vegetables contain similar proteins to some grass and tree pollen. So, allergy sufferers can react the same way they do to pollen.
Common symptoms of a seasonal food allergy include:
- Itching and tingling in and around the mouth
- Swollen tongue, lips, and/or throat
- Stomach pain
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
If you suffer from a seasonal fruit allergy, to can lessen symptoms by:
- Avoiding foods you react to
- Taking an antihistamine to reduce itchiness, sneezing, and stuffiness
- Adrenaline in the form of Epinephrine (commonly an EpiPen) to reverse symptoms of anaphylaxis
A food allergy reaction can be severe. If so, contact a medical professional immediately.
If you’re someone who swims in chlorine pools during the summer you may find yourself reacting negatively after splashing around in the water. This one’s a little different because chlorine itself isn’t an allergen. However, the chemicals in chlorine can cause a reaction known as ‘irritant dermatitis.’
Those who react to chlorine usually have to be exposed for a lengthy period and may experience:
- Itchy, red skin
- Dry skin
To decrease symptoms:
- Take short swims
- Shower right after swimming
- Apply a soothing ointment such as Hydrocortisone cream or Calamine lotion
If you’re someone who faces allergies, you know how frustrating it can be. Even though you can’t cure an allergy, knowing the causes and how to lessen your symptoms can make all the difference. Keep in mind that if you experience a severe reaction, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider.
Not sure if you have seasonal or year round allergies? Read this article to learn more.