Most of us look forward to the warm, sunny days of summer, whether we're getting a break from school for a few weeks, taking a week's vacation, or even just enjoying being outdoors on our days off. But when you have nasal, eye and/or skin allergies, summer can present a number of challenges to enjoying life and being outdoors in the sun and in nature.
In the past, I've written quite extensively on both spring and fall allergies, but haven't specifically covered summer allergies. So, this post will address some of those summertime allergy challenges and provide some tips for dealing with summer allergies.
Tree, Grass & Weed Pollens
Pollen is probably one of the most problematic allergens that people with allergies deal with during the summer months. In the spring, as trees are budding, greening and blooming once again, tree pollen is everywhere, but by the time summer heat arrives, tree pollen levels are mostly low and grass pollen takes over as a mischief maker. But by summer's end, ragweed and other weed pollen producers become the most powerful allergens triggering allergy misery in sensitive sufferers like me... and you?
Understanding the daily pollen count and staying indoors when it is high is the best way to deal with pollen allergy.
By the way, if you have pollen allergies, you could also be susceptible to something called oral allergy syndrome, or pollen food allergy, a pollen and food cross-sensitivity that actually results in itchy, tingly mouth, tongue, throat and lips after eating certain fruits and vegetables.
Mold spores can be found in many places outdoors during late summer. Some trees drop their leaves as early as August, and mold spores are often found in leaf piles on the ground. But if you camp and/or hike, old leaves may be found on the ground in the woods almost everywhere.
For you gardeners, mold spores are also found in soil, so beware!
Bugs... I hate them; don't you? But for some people, bugs go beyond just being "yucky" or annoying. They actually present a severe allergy threat. Certain so-called stinging insects, such as wasps, honeybees, hornets and fire ants can cause a severe allergic reaction that may even be life-threatening in some people.
If you might be one of those people, then it's essential to know how to avoid these insects and what to do if the worst happens and you do get stung.
When summer arrives, so do a whole host of poisonous plants. They are not really poisonous per se, but they CAN cause severe skin allergy rashes in sensitive people. Plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are the main offenders.
Do you know what they look like and where they are found? If you don't, and you are sensitive to these plants, then it's time to get the knowledge you need to stay safe and healthy this summer!