The summer season is associated with sun and fun. However, summer also brings with it a variety of allergy offenders; and summer allergies can be just as bad as those experienced during the spring and autumn. Common allergies during the summer include:
Insect Bites and Stings
The warm weather welcomes insects such as bees, hornets, wasps…
Most of us steer away from these buzzing creatures to avoid bites/stings. Some common symptoms that come along with an insect sting allergy are pain, swelling, redness, itching and itching at the site itself. Those who suffer from a severe reaction or anaphylaxis can also experience symptoms such as tummy upsets, tongue or throat swelling, difficulty breathing, dizziness or unconsciousness. Severe allergic reactions can occur within minutes after the sting and require immediate medical attention. Taking precautionary measures can lessen your chances of getting stung – it is best to avoid:
• walking barefoot outdoors and wearing sweet smelling colognes, perfumes, and lotions
• eating food that has been exposed food
• exposure to open bins where insects thrive.
Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables
Melons, peaches, nectarines, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots are just some of the fresh produce we love to enjoy during the summer months. However, for some allergy sufferers, these fruits contain similar proteins to some grass and tree pollen they are allergic to, causing the body to react the same way it would to the pollen. This condition is referred to as oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Common symptoms of OAS include itching or burning of the lips, mouth, and throat and in some cases, hives. An allergy test can help determine what a person is allergic to; it is best to seek advice from a qualified allergy specialist.
To avoid having a reaction, try opting for a cooked version of the fruit or vegetable, which will degrade the protein causing the allergy.
Outdoor mould spores make their way through the air just as pollen does. Mould spores are ubiquitous (present everywhere) and often outnumber pollen grains in the air even when the pollen count is at its highest. Mould allergy symptoms are similar to those of pollen allergy and include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, congestion and itchy eyes. To reduce your exposure to outside moulds, keep doors and windows closed and remain indoors on days with high mould counts.
Warm, dry, and windy days are often when pollen counts tend to be the highest. Grass allergy symptoms present themselves in several ways: runny nose, sneezing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes and asthma are the most common. Skin rashes such as hives and welts may be present in people with more severe allergies or when in direct contact with the offending grass. Staying indoors on high pollen count days, showering and changing clothes after outside activities as well as keeping doors and windows shut are all ways you can avoid grass pollen.