Summer allergies can put a damper on warm weather fun. It is hard to enjoy a day at the beach or sitting poolside with friends and family when plagued with non-stop sneezing, red, watery eyes, and a persistent, dry cough. Yet that is exactly what summertime allergy sufferers face. Those are just some of the common symptoms associated with allergies.
Most people expect to deal with seasonal allergies in the spring and fall when pollen and other common allergens like mold and ragweed are more prevalent. But did you know that summertime comes with its own allergy woes? Symptoms can be just as bad – or worse – than what is experienced in the spring or fall.
Common Signs of Summer Allergies
Since some of the symptoms of allergies overlap with those of a common head cold, it can be difficult to tell the difference. Allergies can strike at any time, even in people who previously did not have them. If you are exhibiting any of these signs, it may be time to visit a board-certified allergy and immunology specialist.
- Dark circles under the eyes, even when adequate sleep is achieved, is a hallmark sign of allergies. Sometimes referred to as an “allergic shiner,” it is caused by swelling and discoloration from the congestion of the small blood vessels underneath the skin.
- Swollen adenoids are linked with difficulty breathing and a runny nose. Adenoids are the lymph tissue lining the back of the throat and nose.
- Mouth breathing is common in people with allergies since they often cannot adequately breathe through their nose due to congestion and swelling in the nasal passages.
- Nasal creases can appear in individuals with allergies due to frequent upward rubbing of the nose to relieve congestion or to scratch an itch. The crease or line is located across the bridge of the nose.
- Coughing and sneezing are symptoms most frequently associated with allergies.
- General fatigue, even after adequate periods of rest, is another sign of allergies. A person’s immune system is in high gear when combatting seasonal allergies, which can sap their energy.
- Sinus pressure and pain around the top and bottom of the eyes, the temples, and even at the base of the skull can cause headaches that are difficult to relieve.
Still not sure if it’s a cold or allergies? Consult with our team at Eldahmy Wellness. They are trained to help sort the symptoms and offer treatment options to ease your symptoms.
Common Causes Of Summer Allergies
Our immune systems are intended to defend our bodies against harmful invaders to prevent illness. Sometimes our immune system perceives airborne particles that are harmless as one of those invaders. In response, it launches an all-out attack. The result can be mild and include a runny nose or watery eyes, or it can be severe and include fatigue, coughing, and sinus pain and pressure. This phenomenon occurs in allergy sufferers whose immune systems may interpret something as innocuous as grass pollen as one of these invaders.
The majority of summertime allergy sufferers are sensitive to pollen, which can trigger their symptoms. While most trees usually are finished pollinating by late spring, grasses and weeds amp up their production during the summer months. One of the biggest culprits is ragweed. Its pollen has the ability to travel for hundreds of miles. Plants that are fertilized or pollinated by insects are not usually offenders, which includes most flowering trees.
Pollen is not the only summertime allergen. Allergy sufferers who live near a city are more likely to be triggered by smog. Studies have shown that air pollution can make allergy symptoms worse. Smog irritates the lungs, which can aggravate the lungs and allergy symptoms.
Mold also is another summertime allergy pest. Molds love damp, warm areas. When their spores are released into the air and inhaled, they can trigger an allergic reaction.
With warmer weather also comes tiny buggers – bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, fire ants – that sting. Insect bites and stings usually cause mild reactions unless you are allergic to them. Severe allergic reactions include difficulty breathing, throat or tongue swelling, dizziness, and nausea. Seek immediate medical attention if you are having a severe allergic reaction.
Diagnosing and Treating Allergies Caused During The Summertime
Visiting your primary care physician if you suspect you are suffering from allergies is the first step toward obtaining a diagnosis. Some medical practitioners will review your symptoms with you to determine the best course of action. Others may refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist for allergy testing.
Diagnosing allergies in children and adults is similar and usually conducted via a skin test by an allergy or immunology specialist. This test is not recommended for children under six months of age. It works by exposing the skin to up to 50 different substances – including dust mites, mold, pollens, pet dander, and certain foods – to test for an immediate reaction.
If your symptoms are relatively mild and appear to be seasonal, your doctor may suggest treating them in one of several ways:
- Antihistamines are used to reduce or block the histamines your body produces to combat allergens. Histamines make the tissue in your nose swell as a defense mechanism and can cause the eyes to water and itch. There are both over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines.
- Decongestants help relieve the congestion that afflicts many allergy sufferers. Like antihistamines, there are prescription and over-the-counter options.
- Steroid nasal sprays are ideal for those who deal with swollen nasal passages. The sprays reduce the swelling, making it easier to breathe. There are prescription and OTC versions available.
- Allergy eye drops are a great option for those with itchy, burning, watery eyes. These drops only relieve the symptoms experienced in the eyes and will not block allergens like an antihistamine.
- Allergy shots are recommended for those who do not get ample relief by using a combination of other treatments. They work by exposing your immune system to a known allergen over a period of time to help build immunity. They are not a cure but can help lessen symptoms and reduce the number of flare-ups.
Learning to practice avoidance of a known allergen can go a long way in reducing the amount of days allergy sufferers spend in itchy, sneezy misery each summer. Keeping windows closed and limiting outdoor exposure during peak pollen release periods (between 5 and 10 a.m.) can help. Wearing a dust mask when outdoors, especially on windy days, can prevent exposure to allergens.
At Eldahmy Wellness Pharmacy, we can help you get the medications you need so you can enjoy the summer and get relief for your allergy symptoms.
Whether over-the-counter or prescription strength, our team of knowledgeable pharmacists can provide dosage information and recommendations to avoid interactions with other medications or supplements. Our drugstore2door service provides the same quality service customers receive in-store.
Contact Eldahmy Wellness Pharmacy And Treat Your Summer Allergies Today!
Our team at Eldahmy Wellness is committed to helping allergy sufferers reduce the number of flare-ups they experience. We want them to get out there and enjoy the summer months without fear of spending days coughing, hacking, sneezing, and wiping runny noses. Our medication experts can work with you to dispense both prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements to ease allergy symptoms. Stop by one of our locations for a consultation or reach out to us online, and a team member will be in touch.