You have seasonal allergies that bring on unpleasant symptoms. Do your sneezing, runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, postnasal drip, and/or cough extend through the summer months?
Tree pollen is the culprit that starts allergic reactions in the spring, but you may also suffer from allergies to pollens that predominate in the summer months. These include common weeds like ragweed and tumbleweed, and several types of common grasses.
You may also suffer from allergies to culprits inside your house. Molds form in damp areas like bathrooms and basements. Tiny dust mites are active during humid summer months and can thrive in bedding and carpets.
Board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Nilesh Patel provides treatment that brings relief from a wide range of allergens. Blood and/or skin tests can pinpoint what allergens cause your immune system to overreact. If oral medications or nasal sprays don’t help enough, allergy shots can calm your reaction and free you from having troublesome allergy symptoms throughout the year.
If your allergies seem to be staying around longer, it’s not just your imagination. Experts say pollen seasons are starting earlier in the year and staying longer. Following are some great tips for surviving summer allergies.
Plan outdoor time
Your local TV stations and weather apps provide daily pollen counts. Make it a habit to check the count every morning to help plan your day. Pollen counts are usually highest in early and mid-morning. Wind carries pollen, so avoid staying outside for long periods on windy days.
If you do yard work, wear a high-quality protective mask. You probably already have these types of coronavirus masks.
Reduce pollen in the house
You can take several steps to keep pollen at bay in your home.
Use air conditioning
You probably already do this. Keeping windows and doors closed, and turning on the air conditioning, on days with a high pollen count helps defend against allergy attacks.
Change clothes and shoes when coming in after outside work or play
When coming inside, remove your shoes. Invest in house slippers that stay in the house. If you’ve been doing yard work or have been hiking in a densely wooded area, change your clothes in your laundry room when you get home. Shower to shed the pollen from your hair and body.
Wash bedding in hot water each week to remove dust mites and other allergens. You can purchase hypoallergenic covers for your mattress and pillows.
Set a lower humidity level in the house
Keeping your home at a 30-50% humidity level helps keep dust mites at bay. Your HVAC system should have instructions on how to change the humidity.
Vacuum and use a mask
Vacuuming carpets and rugs can release dust mites, mold, and pollen. Vacuum frequently and use a mask. Your vacuum should have a HEPA filter.
Use high-quality filters
Change your furnace filters as directed, and select filters that help purify the air.
Don’t suffer through summer allergies any more than you have to! If these tips don’t relieve your symptoms sufficiently, call the office of Nilesh Patel, MD or book an appointment through our online portal to request a same-day appointment.