Summer is right around the corner and that means everyone will be getting out and enjoying all the summer activities they love. Hiking, camping, watersports or a cross-country roadtrip, whatever summer holds for you there is one thing that can keep us from fully enjoying it: allergies.
That's right, allergies aren't just a springtime problem, in fact certain allergy problems can actually get worse in the summertime. WebMD put together some great information about summer allergies and tips on avoiding them:
Pollen Is the Biggest Culprit
The type of plant to blame varies by location. Those most likely to make you sneeze or sniffle include:
- Russian thistle
- Blue grasses
- Red top
- Sweet vernal
Ragweed is one of the most common summer allergy triggers. It can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind. So even if it doesn’t grow where you live, it can make you feel bad if you’re allergic to it.
Smog: It’s Worst This Time of Year
Summer air pollution can make your symptoms worse. One of the most common is ozone at the ground level. It’s created in the atmosphere from a mix of sunlight and chemicals from car exhaust. Summer’s strong sunlight and calm winds create clouds of ozone around some cities.
So this summer, don't just beat the heat, beat those pesky summer allergies and get the most out of your summer activities. Try some of the basic remedies listed above and adjust some of your habits to avoid prolonged exposure to allergens. Replace all your indoor filters and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. If your allergies just won't let up and over-the-counter remedies aren't doing the trick, call us to schedule an appointment to come see us at the Medical Specialty Center at Orchard Hospital - Your Everyday Health Care Clinic.
How Are Allergies Treated?
Over-the-counter medications include:
- Nasal spray decongestants -- don’t use them for more than 3 days.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Eye drops
- Nasal irrigation
If over-the-counter remedies don’t help, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication:
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs)
- Ipratropium bromide nasal spray (Atrovent)
- Immunotherapy -- you’ll get tiny doses of allergens in the form of shots, tablets, or drops.
How to Make Allergy Season Easier
Take some simple steps to avoid your triggers.
- Stay inside when the pollen count and smog levels are high.
- Keep your doors and windows closed. Run your air conditioner to keep allergens out. Use an air purifier.
- Clean air filters in your home often. Also clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen collects.
- Wash bedding and rugs in hot water to get rid of dust mites and other allergens.
- Wash your hair, shower, and change your clothes after you go outside.
- Vacuum often and wear a mask. The process can kick up pollen, mold, and dust trapped in your carpet. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Wear a mask when you mow your lawn to avoid grass pollen.
- Keep the humidity in your house between 30% and 50% so dust mites won’t thrive.