Common Causes Of Summer Allergies
While spring allergies get the most attention, summer allergies can wreak havoc for some individuals. Pollen and dust are often the main culprits behind these allergies, but summertime also brings other factors that may increase sneezing and watery eyes. Allergic reactions are caused when your body produces histamines to fight off an irritant. These histamines are behind the common sneezing, coughing, and itching symptoms of allergies.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, airborne irritants, dust mites, and pollen are among the most common summer allergy triggers. Heres a breakdown of the main causes of summer allergies.
When Should I Start Taking Allergy Meds
Theres no point in waiting until youre miserable to take allergy meds, especially if you want to keep up your outdoor workouts. In fact, allergists recommend you start taking meds a couple weeks before allergy season arrives, or, at the latest, take them the moment you begin having symptoms, says Dr. Parikh. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms, he adds. Check out the National Allergy Map to figure out when to start taking meds depending on where you live.
As for which allergy meds to take, if youre seriously stuffed, start with steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or Rhinocort, which reduce inflammation-induced stuffiness, says Dr. Keet. And if you’ve got itching, sneezing, and a runny nose, too, look for non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra, she adds. Just remember: While OTC allergy meds suppress symptoms, they dont cure the problem, so they may be less effective if your allergies are worsening, notes Dr. Parikh.
How Can I Treat My Allergies
There are many medications you can use:
help relieve stuffiness and dry up the mucus in your nose.
Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets or drops can also help you feel better.
You can buy some allergy medications without a prescription, but talk to your doctor to make sure you get the right one. nasal sprays, for example, should only be used for 3 days. If you use them longer, you may actually get more congested. And if you have high blood pressure, some allergy drugs may not be right for you.
You May Like: Robitussin Allergic Reaction
Tips To Manage Symptoms
Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed when pollen is at its peak . Check pollen counts in your area. Your local weather report will usually include them.
Before you turn on your heat for the first time, clean your heating vents and change the filter. Bits of mold and other allergens can get trapped in the vents over the summer and will fill the air as soon as you start the furnace.
Use a HEPA filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.
Use a dehumidifier to keep your air at between 35% and 50% humidity.
Wear a mask when you rake leaves so you don’t breathe in mold spores.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Allergic Rhinitis,” “Preparing for School with Asthma and Allergies.”
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Running from Ragweed: How to Cope with Fall Allergies,” “Ragweed Allergy.”
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease: “Airborne Allergens.”
Im, W. Archives of Environmental Occupational Health, September/October 2005.
Silverman, R. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, September 2005.
Resource Center: Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergy seasons will vary based on where you live. In the Northeast of the United States the pollen seasons are as follows:
Tree Allergies: From March through MayGrass Allergies: From April Through OctoberWeed Allergies: From June Through October
Recent weather changes have caused some deviations in this schedule.
Preventing allergic reactions
There are many ways that you can adjust your daily life to better treat a seasonal allergy. Many of these are easy to build into your routine and structure. Allergies can be frustrating, but are treatable with medication and taking precautions to limit exposure to allergens.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends a number of tips to prevent allergic outbreaks during any allergy season.
1.) Make sure that you are doing a thorough seasonal cleaning of your home. Clean your entire home, even air conditioning vents. These collect dust and can grow mold spores while they are shut down which can trigger allergy symptoms. Adding air filters to these vents can help as well.
2.) The pollen count are usually highest in the morning, between 5 am and 10 am. If you can postpone doing outdoor events or activities until later in the day it will help to manage your symptoms.
3.) There are a number of ways to identify your local pollen count. You can do this daily to be aware of your likelihood of symptom outbreaks. You can also use This link to Pollen.com for your New Jersey-specific pollen count.
Don’t Miss: Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Constipation
Allergies In August: Prime Time For Triggers
What are the causes?
The triggers of allergies in August can cause the tissue inside the nose or airway to activate immune system cells that release histamine and other inflammatory substances to attack the allergen. The body views the allergen as harmful and builds antibodies to fight it though the allergen would otherwise be harmless. These substances cause symptoms of watery eyes congestion runny nose sneezing. The most common allergens include mold fungi pet dander or pollen from various plants .
- Watery itchy or dry eyes
- Personal history of asthma eczema or other allergies.
- Family history of asthma seasonal allergies or eczema.
How can I treat my hay fever at home?
- Nasal saline: rinsing the nose with salt water by spray or irrigation as needed throughout the day
- Nasal steroids : One spray in each nostril daily. Benefits may be most noticeable after several days or weeks of consistent use. Examples include Flonase Nasonex Nasacort. Be sure to follow directions properly for greatest benefit. Blow nose prior to use slightly tilt your head down and insert tip into one nostril. Aim towards the ear of the same side spray once; repeat steps in opposite nostril
- Antihistamines: Second generation oral antihistamines take daily these are most effective with consistent use during allergy flares.
When to talk with your doctor?
Summer Allergies: Causes Symptoms And How To Manage Reactions
With summertime comes long days drenched in sunshine and higher temperatures. While many of us enjoy the great outdoors during this season, summer also brings dangers and discomforts. These include seasonal allergies and an increased risk of dehydration, which can worsen allergy symptoms and make it more difficult for your body to fend off allergens.
If youre one of the unlucky people who suffer from summer allergies, you may wonder what causes these reactions and how to manage symptoms. Here, well show you the main causes, symptoms, and treatment plans for summer allergies. Plus, well show you how to prevent dehydration and why its particularly important for allergy sufferers to stay hydrated during the warmer months.
Read Also: Allergy Pill Zyrtec
How To Alleviate Your Allergy Symptoms
Leeds recommended wearing a brimmed hat and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes and nose. A solid rinse can also work wonders after spending time outside.
Wash your hands and face after being outdoors for long periods of time, and consider changing your clothes, she said.
If you are particularly sensitive, limit your time outdoors on poor air-quality days. Consider washing your eyes and nose with a saline solution. You might also want to swap out your contact lenses for eyeglasses, as pollen can cling onto lenses and irritate the eye. Cleaning your lenses more frequently and opting for daily disposable contacts can also help relieve itchy, watery eyes.
Pollen can get trapped inside your home, so keep your windows shut and car doors closed. Vacuum often to get rid of allergens trapped in your carpet. If you have AC, set it to nonrecirculated air.
AAFA also recommends using a HEPA air filter to purify the air in your house. And pets can be pollen magnets, so giving them a good rub down is a good idea after a springtime walk, Gupta said.
You might also want to hold onto your face mask a bit longer. The masks we use to protect ourselves against the coronavirus act as a barrier against pollen, too. The better the mask, the better the protection.
N95 masks are ideal for this, but standard masks most people are using to protect one another from COVID-19 also work, Mendez said.
Pollution Climate Change And Allergies
Although air pollution is not believed to cause allergic reactions, it may be a factor, according to Larche. Pollution irritates the membranes in breathing passages and then the proteins released by pollens are more likely to cause an allergic reaction. Also, pollens can stick to the airborne pollutants, increasing the likelihood they will get inside our bodies.
A;2011 research paper;by Lewis Ziska, et. al., reports that in North America, the ragweed season is getting longer, especially in more northerly latitudes. Between 1995 and 2009, the length of the ragweed season increased by 27 days in Saskatoon and 25 days in Winnipeg.
The researchers say this may be related to climate change, the theory being that warming is happening sooner as we approach the poles, resulting in a longer growing season.
Whether there is a connection between climate change and the steadily increasing number of people with allergies; a number that doubles nearly every decade;;;is uncertain. “We don’t know enough about climate change to make any of these statements about that being a factor in the rise of allergy,”;Judah Denburg;said.
Read Also: Clarintin
What Can I Do For My Fall Allergies
Ragweed pollen the most common cause of fall allergy symptoms starts to appear in most of the U.S. in August, peaking in mid-September. Other offending fall plants include pigweed, burning bush, cocklebur, sagebrush, mugwort, lambs-quarters, tumbleweed and Russian thistle. Mold is also high due to falling leaves that collect on the ground.
There are apps you can use to watch your areas pollen counts. On days that pollen is high for ragweed and other weed pollen you are allergic to, you can take these actions to reduce your pollen exposure:
- Limit outdoor activities
- Use a;CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® air cleaner
How to reduce your exposure to mold spores outside:
If you have a mold allergy, you may experience symptoms as leaves fall and collect on the ground. But mold can also cause issues year-round. When mold counts are high, there are;steps you can take to reduce your exposure to outdoor mold:
- Limit outdoor activities. This will reduce the amount of mold spores you inhale.
- Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 mask and sunglasses or goggles when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials. ;
There are also options available to prevent or treat allergy symptoms:
Talk with your doctor or health care provider months before the fall allergy season begins so you can discuss which treatment is right for you.
Our Fall Allergy Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA.
What Are Natural Remedies To Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms For Dogs
Just like with humans, figuring out other ways to help relieve allergy symptoms for your dog can take some trial and error.;
Here are a few recommendations:
- Fatty acid supplements: These can help soothe itchy and irritated skin, according to the NASC.
- Regular bathing with hypoallergenic shampoos:;This can help remove possible allergens like pollen and grass that your dog may come in contact with as part of your daily routine.
- More ways to help: Some people use remedies like tea tree oil, coconut oil, fish oils or other omegas and oatmeal shampoo, according to Carvalho.
At SmartyPaws, our multifunctional health supplements include omega-3 EPA & DHA fatty acids and organic turmeric. These ingredients support a normal inflammatory response and dogs with seasonal and environmental allergies.
We also use additional omegas, including omega-3 ALA from organic chia seeds and alfalfa, to help promote healthy skin, maintain normal moisture content and support animals with sensitive skin.
In addition to providing support for dogs with seasonal and environmental allergies and sensitive skin, our SmartyPaws chews support joint, gut, immune and urinary tract health – all in one easy serving.
Don’t Miss: Macadamia Nuts And Latex Allergy
Pollen Allergy Peak Seasons In The Uk
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hayfever, is caused by exposure to grass pollen, tree pollen and other plant pollen which is released into the air.
In the UK pollen exposure is most common in the spring and summer months, but different species of plant pollinate at different times of year, so some individuals may experience symptoms at specific times and none at others.
Sufferers of allergic rhinitis are advised to limit their exposure to airborne pollen as far as possible during the months in which they are affected. Some strategies which may help include:
- Reviewing local weather reports including pollen counts and limiting time spent outside when the count is high.
- Avoiding drying laundry outdoors, particularly clothes and bedding, when pollen counts are high.
- Keeping doors and windows closed during peak months for pollen exposure.
- Avoiding gardening, lawn mowing and other outdoor work during peak months for pollen exposure.
The exact timing, peak, and severity of pollen release will vary from year to year according to the specific weather conditions, with wind, temperature and rainfall all having some effect.
What Is A Ragweed Pollen Allergy
The job of your immune system is to find foreign substances, like viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. This response normally protects us from harmful diseases. People with allergies have immune systems that react when they come in contact with allergens. When you are allergic to ragweed pollen and inhale it from the air, rhinitis symptoms show up.
Seventeen types of ragweed grow in North America. Ragweed also belongs to a larger family of plants that can spread pollen by wind. These plants can also cause symptoms.
Members of this plant family include:
- Mucus in the throat ;
You May Like: Claritin Tablet
What Can You Do To Manage Your Allergies
While it’s difficult to entirely eliminate the effects of allergens on your body, there are steps you can take to make the symptoms less severe. Over-the-counter medications and antihistamines can treat allergies for a few weeks without a problem, and nasal steroid sprays work well for chronic symptoms. Other solutions include:
If you have seasonal allergies and work outside, change out of your daytime clothes once you’re home. This will reduce your exposure to any allergens collected during the day.
- Wash your sheets weekly to reduce allergen buildup.
- Keep your windows closed.
- Stay inside from 10am to 4pm if possible.
- Saline sinus rinses help flush out allergens and limit the allergic reaction.
- If you’re allergic to your pets, keep them out of your bedroom.
- Plan ahead for next monthâs allergy. If you know oak tree pollen will be high in March and April, start taking medication in February.
No one likes allergies. With a few lifestyle changes and basic caution, you can manage your allergies and get back to your life.
If You Want To Give Your Dog An Antihistamine Like Benadryl Here Are Some Things To Consider:
- While typically safe, every dog reacts differently to antihistamines, according to the VCA. They may cause drowsiness in some dogs and hyperactivity in others.
- If you purchase an over the counter;medicine;for your dog, check the label to make sure it doesnt contain any other ingredients like decongestants or pseudoephedrine, which are;NOT safe for dogs.
- Its also important to note that dosage for humans and dogs will not be the same.
We recommend talking to your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter medication to ensure the dose is accurate and that there are no adverse reactions with any other medications they may be taking.
Also Check: Signs Of Seasonal Allergies In Toddlers
Ragweed Season Begins Late Summer
The plant produces copious amounts of pollen and it also releases its protein quite quickly, according to Levetin.
Ragweed likes to grow in disturbed soil. And there’s bad news for city dwellers. Ragweed grows faster and larger and produces much more pollen in urban conditions, mainly because of the slightly warmer micro-climate.
Uk Tree Pollen Calendar
|Mid February to early April||Mid April|
|Mid February to mid March||Mid April|
|Late February to late March||End of April|
|Early March to early April||End of April|
|Early March to mid May||End of April|
|End of Mar to early April||End of April|
|End of March to mid May||Early June|
|Early April to end of April||Mid May|
|Late April to mid May||Late May|
|Mid April to early June||Mid June|
|Start of May to mid June||Mid July|
|Late June to early July||End of July|
|Start of June to end of July||Early Septemper|
|Early May to end of June||Mid July|
|Early May to end of June||Mid July|
|Early June to early July||Late August|
|Mid June to late July||Early August|
|Mid June to mid August||Early September|
You May Like: Zyrtec-d Drowsy