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It’s summertime, and the living is sneezy if you’ve got allergies. You might be tempted to lock yourself in an air-conditioned room for the next three months. Turning into a hermit isn’t the answer. You can enjoy an allergy-free summer – read on for more details.
Allergies are caused by allergens. Allergens are substances that your body regards as harmful. It launches an immune response to protect you from the perceived threat.
Preventing allergic reactions involves avoiding the allergens which trigger them. The hottest season of the year is full of such triggers. For example, many people are allergic to pollen.
There are three types of pollen that are responsible for causing allergies: tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen. Tree pollen is more prevalent in the spring, while grass pollen is more common in June and July. You’ll find weeds release pollen between early spring and late autumn.
Why aren’t flowers on that list? Flowers are pollinated by insects, not by the wind (unlike trees, grass, and weeds). So, unless you work closely with flowers, you probably won’t be greatly affected by their pollen.
If you’re one of those people with a pollen allergy, it’s important to know the pollen count in the air so that you can take precautions. Many newspapers, radio stations, and websites publish a daily pollen count during allergy season, so it’s easy to monitor.
Pollen counts are the highest at midday and in the afternoon, so those are good times to stay indoors. If you do spend time outside, shower and change your clothes when you come back in so that you won’t bring the pollen in with you.
While you might love the smell of laundry that’s been drying outside on the clothes line, you won’t love the pollen that sticks to it. Either hang clothes indoors or use the dryer when the pollen count is high. Keeping doors and windows shut whenever possible is another way to keep pollen outside where it belongs.
Pollen isn’t the only thing that causes allergic reactions. There are some allergens that are much more common in the summer than during other times of the year.
For some people, campfires aren’t just places where you can sit around, roasting marshmallows or hotdogs. Rather, the smoke from the fire can lead to an allergic reaction or an asthma attack. Sitting upwind and being far enough away from the smoke will keep allergies and asthma at bay.
Stinging insects are another common summer allergen. While many people regard them as a mere nuisance, these insects can actually cause serious and even fatal allergic reactions in others. Getting stung isn’t inevitable, though. You can reduce the risk of being stung by covering up exposed skin when you’re outside, not wearing brightly colored clothing, avoiding perfume or cologne, and being cautious about eating or drinking anything sweet.
Dr. Nguyen is a national expert in the treatment of nasal allergies. Let us use the newest technology and our vast experience to customize a solution for your health needs. Houston Sinus and Allergy has over a decade of experience in treating nasal allergies. Our practice has won numerous awards, including being voted the Living Best of Reader’s Choice Award in 2015.
You can reach us by calling (832) 237-7777, or fill out the form at the top of the page to book an assessment to start feeling better!