For most, summer days are well spent at the beach or outdoor barbecues. For others, sniffling, sneezing and stuffy noses keep them at bay. Welcome to summer allergy season. It keeps going long after pollen season is over and June showers are gone. Many of the same triggers are to blame and it is pesky, especially around the shore. Once you know Summer allergy symptoms are, you can find relief and treatment options.
Long after trees are done with their pollen-fest in late spring, grasses and weeds trigger summer allergies. Depending on type of plant and location, those most likely to cause allergy symptoms include:
- Russion thistle
- Blue grasses
- Red top
- Sweet vernal
Aside from weeds and grasses, other environmental factors would make your symptoms worse. For example, smog. Summer air pollution produced from heat and chemicals from car exhaust can make your symptoms worse. Aside from weeds and grasses, other environmental factors would make your symptoms worse. For example, smog. Summer air pollution produced from heat and chemicals from car exhaust can make your symptoms worse.
Other culprits include insects, mold, and dust mites.
- Insects such as bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and fire ants cause allergic reactions when they sting. While insect bites usually cause mild symptoms like itching and swelling, it sometimes leads to severe allergic reactions that need medical attention.
- Mold thrives in warm and damp areas, including basement and bathrooms. They release spores into the air and cause allergic reactions.
- Dust mites also come out during the summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures and live in beds, fabric and carpets. They release residue in the air and set off allergic reactions such as sneezes, wheezes and runny noses.
Lesser Known Triggers to Know
- Sunscreen. While we use sunscreen as a precaution to sun-damaged skin and skin cancer, chemicals found in sunscreens have also led to various allergic reactions such as contact dermatitis, an itchy, blistering skin rash that occurs within hours of sunscreen application.
- Sun. Prolonged sun exposure can sometimes increase your risk of itching, hives or burning and stinging of the skin, especially in people with underlying medical conditions (such as lupus or porphyria) and people using various medications (such as high blood pressure medications).
- Swimming. Swimming in the ocean is fun and refreshing during hot summer days, but it can also leave some feeling itchy. Three main causes are swimmer’s itch, seabather’s eruption and seaweed dermatitis.
- Barbecue Smoke. Trees like mesquite, oak, cedar, and hickory are commonly burned to add flavor to barbecues and contain allergen in their wood and pollen. The allergen in pollen is present in the wood even after it is burned through combustion.
Summer Allergy Symptoms
Like seasonal allergy symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, the most common include:
- Running nose or stuffy nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Itchy sinuses, throat or ear canals
- Ear congestion
- Postnasal drainage
Treatment Options and Prevention
For allergy relief, over-the-counter medications include:
- Nasal spray decongestants
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Eye drops
- Nasal irrigation
Schedule a Consultation
If you have allergies, it is important to seek the right medical help. An allergist/immunologist is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma and other diseases of the immune system. Testing done by allergist can give you precise information about what your child is and is not allergic to. If you are allergic to any substances, you and your allergist can develop a treatment plan to manage or even get rid of your symptoms.
To get you started, discuss and review your treatment options in order find the perfect option for you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla today, for treatment options.