The arrival of summer brings a mixed reaction from people all around. Farmers start celebrating the season with a hope of better returns from summer crops, people who don’t like spring or winters are finally happy welcoming warmer days, but there are a lot of others who don’t like the summer season at all. And summer allergies are major reasons, among others. People start going into an overthinking mode, wondering about summer allergies and how to treat them.
Yes, the summer is a season of camping, hiking, playing, swimming, drinking, etc. However, some people are unable to enjoy the season because of allergies that come back every summer to haunt them. After the showers of April and flowers of May, sneezing almost becomes a part of life for some people.
According to recent studies, allergies are among major chronic illnesses in the United States. And that’s surely much more than taking summer allergies only as a seasonal problem. For some people, the season becomes a nightmare, as problems like allergy-induced asthma start affecting people more frequently in summers.
In this write-up, we will deal with all aspects of summer allergies, including different types of allergic triggers, possible causes, symptoms of different types of summer allergies, and how to treat them. In addition, we will also suggest when you should plan to visit a doctor. Let’s explore to find more.
Different Types of Allergy Triggers
Summer allergies are just like allergies of other seasons, including winter allergies, fall allergies, spring allergies, etc. It’s more about at which time of year you experience the worsening of allergy symptoms. Also, some allergy culprits are seen more in summers than in other seasons. Here are a few most common offenders of summer allergies.
If you feel you are allergic to grass, pollens are likely the actual culprits instead of actual grass leaves. “Rhinitis” is a common word used for many allergies, including the so-called “grass allergy.” Grass pollinates heavily and more frequently in summer and keeps roaming into the air due to the dryness of both soil as well as air.
Pollen count touches the peak in warm, dry, and windy season, and if you are allergic to grass, you may develop various summer allergy symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, watery and itchy eyes, and sometimes, even difficulty breathing, etc. Skin rashes during this time of the year look very similar to hives and welts, which are expected to be aggravated with continuous and frequent contact with the grasses.
What’s the Solution?
Yes, you will have to stay indoors as much as possible during the high count of pollens – even if you don’t like it. If you are forced to go outside due to your job’s nature or for other reasons, we suggest you take showers and change clothes multiple times a day. In addition, try to keep the doors and windows shut to avoid the introduction of grass pollens inside your home.
2. Insect Stings
Insect stings are at their peak in the summer season. The warmth of the environment welcomes a host of insects like yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, hornets, bees, etc. While for most of us, these creatures are usually about pain, and itching, for a lot of other people, they can be responsible for life-threatening anaphylactic allergic reaction.
Some common summer allergy symptoms from insect strings are redness, pain, swelling, itching, etc. But people who have anaphylaxis or severe reaction may experience some extra symptoms, including swelling of the tongue or throat, dizziness, difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal problems, and even unconsciousness in severe reactions.
Severe reactions are often delayed and may appear after a few days of getting insect strings. However, some people may develop severe symptoms within the first few minutes and require immediate medical attention.
If you had any of the abovementioned insect stings symptoms, there is a 65% chance of a similar or even worse response to the stings in the future.
Certain precautionary measures can be very helpful to avoid possible insect sting reactions. Avoid walking barefoot outside and apply body lotions, perfumes, or sweet-smelling colognes to avoid an unwanted encounter with insects. Also, avoid consuming foods that are opened outside, as they can attract different types of insects and cause insect-induced summer allergy symptoms.
3. Food Allergy
You can get food allergies even in other seasons, but it’s more common during summers. It is a reaction from your immune system after eating certain foods. And, a tiny amount of these foods, even the smell, may trigger various summer allergy symptoms. For some people, a food allergy can be very severe and can sometimes be life-threatening.
Food allergy is more commonly noticed in children, as an estimated 6 to 6 percent of children under three years are affected every year. On the other hand, it affects only 3 percent of adults annually. Food allergy in children usually subsides with growth.
There is a slight difference between “food allergy” and “food intolerance.” Food intolerance can, of course, be bothersome but is less serious than food allergy.
Symptoms of a food allergy may include:
- Itching or tingling in the mouth.
- Eczema, itching, or hives on different body parts.
- Swelling of face, lips, throat, tongue, and various other parts of the body.
- Nasal congestion, trouble breathing, and wheezing sound.
- Constant abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Fainting, light-headedness, and dizziness in severe cases of food allergy.
Anaphylaxis of Food Allergy
Some people may experience some extraordinary summer allergy symptoms due to certain foods. This is known as “anaphylaxis.” The allergic people may get some life-threatening signs and symptoms, like:
- Constriction and suffocation of the airways.
- Swelling of the throat with a sensation of a lump, making breathing difficult.
- Rapid, irregular pulse.
- Loss of consciousness, light-headedness, and dizziness.
- Shock with a sudden, rapid dip in blood pressure.
Food-Induced Summer Allergies Treatment
Mild symptoms may be improved by identifying the culprits and removing them from your diet. However, for anaphylaxis and severe symptoms, emergency medical attention is a must, as it may lead to coma or even death.
4. Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Summer-special fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, peaches, melons, and tomatoes, etc., are very healthy for you. Unfortunately, you may get summer allergies even from these common veggies and fruits, especially if you have a weak immune system. These fruits and vegetables also contain similar proteins like grass and tree pollens and may have a similar reaction to allergic people.
Allergy from seasonal fruits and vegetables is also known as “oral allergy syndrome” and may be characterized by many symptoms. The symptoms may be very similar to food allergies, and sometimes, it can be an arduous task to differentiate both.
What’s the Solution Then?
If you notice alien skin or oral reaction after eating, cooking, or even washing summer vegetables and fruits, you should talk to an allergist for proper diagnosis. Some specific allergy tests might be handy to find out the exact allergic trigger(s).
5. Mould Allergy in Summer
Different types of molds grow throughout different parts of the year. However, the growth of certain outdoor molds is at the peak from late summer to early fall. These molds survive and grow very well in humid conditions and can make their way inside your home through the air – just like pollens
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), molds are so prevalent that they can outnumber pollens even when the pollen count is its peak.
Due to molds, summer allergy symptoms may include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, nasal itching, congestion, etc.
How Can You Control Mould Allergy?
Being extra careful throughout the summer season is the best option. You have to minimize exposure to outside molds by avoiding unnecessary strolls around, keeping the windows and doors closed.
6. Exercise-Induced Allergic Reactions in Summer
Although you may have exercise-induced allergies in other seasons, the chances of having mild to severe symptoms increase in summer, or it can simply be a major problem for people prone to summer allergies.
Such people may get a trigger of allergy by performing even light physical exercises. Exercise-induced allergy can be a very serious problem for asthmatic subjects and can rarely cause an anaphylactic reaction. Let’s try to understand how.
Physical Exercise May Trigger:
- Asthma: People with a history of asthma may get affected by the severity of the symptoms while exercising outdoors in summer. When you exercise, fast breathing may cause a coldness and dryness of the airways, and when airways get warm again, they narrow. The chances of exercise-induced asthma are very high when the air is warm and dry. There is a tight feeling in the chest. People may find it difficult to breathe, may have wheezing and coughing as well.
- Anaphylactic Reactions: Summer allergies symptoms may rarely convert into anaphylactic reactions by exercising in the summer. Vigorous exercises, in particular, may trigger a potentially severe allergic reaction. An anaphylactic reaction is commonly noticed in subjects that are allergic to certain foods. Consuming such food items before exercising is likely to make things worse. There might be difficulty breathing, a sudden dip in blood pressure, leading to dizziness, and even collapse. As we have discussed earlier, an anaphylactic reaction can be life-threatening, especially if not given immediate medical attention.
How to Stop Summer Allergies Due to Exercises?
If you are asthmatic, you must have to take your asthma drugs.
Avoiding exercises or such possible triggers may go a long way to avoid severe symptoms.
7. Physical Allergy
Like exercise-induced allergies, physical allergies may haunt you any time of the year. But for some people, it may be specifically noticed in summers. A physical allergy is very different from all other allergic reactions, as a physical stimulus itself may cause a trigger of allergy. There might be a myriad of physical stimuli, including:
- Physical pressure
- Minor Injuries
- Environmental heat or other stimuli are causing sweating, such as an exercise of emotional stress.
Some people may notice the symptoms only in response to different physical stimuli. However, people with other forms of allergies may get worsening of symptoms when they encounter physical stimuli.
Why You Get Physical Allergy?
We are yet to find the exact cause of physical allergy. However, if we believe a theory, it suggests that certain physical stimulus causes abnormal skin changes. The immune system mistakenly attacks the protein by taking it as a foreign substance. For example, we are sensitive to sunlight (photosensitivity). There is a change in our skin’s protein when exposed to sunlight, and the body attacks UV rays by identifying them as foreign agents.
Summer Allergy Symptoms, in this case, may include mild to severe itching, skin imperfections, hives, and swelling of tissues. You may start noticing the symptoms right after a few minutes of exposure to a certain physical stimulus.
Suppose you have a physical allergy, and you are sensitive to heat as well, engaging in physical activity outside may cause sweating, which may be responsible for the development of small, excessively itchy hives surrounded by red or pink rings. In that case, the condition is known as “cholinergic urticaria.”
Summer Allergies Treatment for Individuals Having Physical Allergy:
The treatment may vary depending on the severity of symptoms and response from the body. Identifying the causative factors and avoiding them as much as possible is the best way to deal with the physical allergy. For example, if you are severely sensitive to sunlight, reducing your sunlight-exposure or using sunscreen may be helpful.
So, how to stop summer allergies? Well, we can’t use the word “stopping” for summer allergies, as there is no proven tactic to stop summer allergies. Identifying and avoiding allergic triggers is the best possible way to deal with allergies. Antihistamines are, however, used to reduce itching. Various other medications are used as palliative treatment for various summer allergy symptoms. But overuse of such medications is also linked with a wide range of other side-effects. So, try to find out what’s causing you the summer allergy, and try to avoid it as much as possible. However, we are not ruling out a treatment for summer allergy, and you can, of course, ask a certified medical professional for further help.