With summertime comes plenty of opportunities to drench in the sunshine and enjoy outdoor activities. While it’s considered by many as one of the best times of the year, it can pose some health issues and discomfort for some.
Contrary to what many people think, seasonal allergies don’t just occur during spring and fall; they are also common during summer.
What causes summertime allergies?
The causes of allergies during summer are the same causes of allergies in other seasons. This includes pollen, mold, dust mites, and stingers.
Grasses and weeds usually produce pollen later in the year, about around the time when summer is in full swing.
Pollen from weeds like Russian thistle and tumbleweed and grass pollen from Bermuda grass and orchardgrass can trigger an allergic reaction even if you don’t have these near your home (plant pollen can be carried by the wind).
Mold grows in warm, damp areas. The rise in temperature and humidity creates a favorable environment for the mold.
If your allergies are triggered by mold, you may experience difficulty in breathing, a scratchy throat, and/or watery eyes. Just like with pollen, it’s possible to have these reactions even if you don’t have mold growth nearby as windy days may also carry mold spores.
These allergy-inducing critters thrive in a hot and humid environment. They live off of dead skin cells and are usually found in beddings, fabrics, and carpets. Aside from sneezing, dust mite allergies may also cause itchiness, post-nasal drip, and coughing.
Stingers like fire ants, yellow jackets, and wasps are common during summer. Their sting can cause swelling and itchiness. Some people can have a more serious reaction like anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening allergy response. Anaphylactic shock can cause difficulty of breathing, swelling of the tongue, and unconsciousness.
How can you manage summertime allergies?
Avoidance is the best way to prevent summertime allergies. However, to do this effectively, you have to see a specialist who will help determine your allergy triggers.
Our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT use a combination of family and medical history and skin testing (the most reliable way of allergy testing) to diagnose an allergy.
Once you know your triggers, you can take the necessary steps to minimize your exposure. This includes:
• Keeping doors and windows closed to reduce the amount of pollen and mold that can get indoors
• Washing beddings and rugs and vacuuming regularly
• Changing clothes and showering after spending time outdoors
• Checking the humidity levels in your house
If you’ve tried your best to avoid the triggers, but still end up with allergy symptoms, our doctors have other options for you. We may recommend immunotherapy to help treat the root cause of your allergies.
Also known as allergy shots, immunotherapy works by building your tolerance to your allergens. If you’d like to learn more about it and other allergy management options you have, you can request an appointment with us by calling (865) 244-4396.
Don’t let allergies ruin your summer. Call us and let the experts of Greater Knoxville ENT help you find ways to manage it.