Come to think of the word summer. Just the mention of it brighten up people’s faces because when it is summer, it is mostly associated with vacation, schools closing, perfect outdoor weather, a time to meet friends and family, traveling and the list is endless. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say only 1 person would probably think of summer negatively or rather think of possible problems that would come in amongst all the fun and games.
Most people associate allergies with cold weather and the spring but summer allergies can be as bad as the spring allergies causing severe symptoms and discomfort. During the summer some people spend a lot of time indoors to escape the hot weather and humidity which brings both advantages and disadvantages. Staying indoors protects one from stinging insects or pollen grains during this pollination period which may cause allergies but at the same time, this period is associated with increased mold, mildew growth and dust mites increase in numbers. This is because there is limited air circulation indoors.
Summer allergy symptoms may include nasal crease, severe nasal congestion, sneezing, black eyes, etc.
1. Nasal crease: This is a line that appears on the nose that is usually caused by rubbing the nose due to the feeling of being unease, nostrils blockage, and feeling itchy.
2. Severe nasal congestion: due to nasal congestion the patient results in breathing using the mouth because the nose is usually blocked hence causing difficulty in breathing. In this case, the air the patient breathes is not perfectly clean for the hair in the nose does trap dirty and in this case, the patient breathes using the mouth.
3. Sneezing: allergies cause sneezing which is a result of dirt entering your nose hence causing irritation on the sensitive mucous membrane inside the nose and the throat.
Bees such as yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and other insects can cause a reaction if they sting you. During summer people like spending time enjoying the view of the lake, hiking, and more open-air activities but they come with insect bites and stings that sometimes may be harmful.
Symptoms of bee stings include,
Face, tongue and throat swelling, itches, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and cramps in the abdomen.
One may prevent stings by :
- Wearing closed shoes and avoiding walking barefoot in the grass.
- Not drinking from open soda or scans as they attract bees.
- Avoiding sweet smell perfumes or colognes.
- Driving with windows closed – use the vehicle’s air conditioner instead.
A day spent in the sun causes tan lines and sunburn. Applying sunscreen can help avoid skin damage but choosing the right sunscreen is very important.
Sunscreen allergies are usually caused by a reaction to preservatives and fragrances used in the product if one has sensitive skin, you should choose your cosmetics carefully.
Poison ivy plant is a poisonous Asian and eastern North American flowering plant. This plant causes a rash on the skin when someone gets in contact with it. It mainly grows in the edge of woodland where there is plenty of sunlight.
The symptom of the poison ivy allergy include:
- Intense itching.
- red skin/streaks.
- red bumps.
- crusting skin.
The rash is not contagious and it does not spread. It can take several weeks to heal.
A serious allergic reaction can occur in the nasal passage, throat, and lungs. One may have difficulty breathing and urgent medical care is needed.
Poison ivy allergies may be prevented by:
- Removing clothes and showering immediately you get indoors.
- Rinsing the skin with cool, soapy water help if it is done within one hour of contact with the plant.
- Over-the-counter calamine cortisone creams help reduce the itching.
- Oral antihistamine eases the itching inflammation and they are also available over the counter.
- Soaking in cool water to ease burning and itching.
Avoiding exposure to this plant is the best way to prevent allergic reactions. This can be done by:
- Watching your pets closely when loose in the yards.
- Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when hiking in wooded areas.
- Wearing gloves while gardening.
Seasonal fruits include cherries, apples, prunes, pears, peaches, almonds, bananas, oranges, mangoes, and many more.
Most reactions of seasonal fruits are said to be mild affecting only the mouth, different types of fruits, and cause allergic reactions such as mangoes and bananas.
Molds are major causes of allergies. Mold spores can easily spread throughout your homes, from one room to the other as they are light and can be easily be moved from one room to the other.
Mold allergies are very common in the summer and that is why household mold prevention is a crucial activity.
The main cause of mold growth is high humidity and dampness. Mold favor place that is moist and has little or no light to grow. Most summers many homeowners with basements or crawlspaces know that these places become more damper and mold growth can be seen everywhere, especially if the humidity levels in these spaces are not controlled.
The best way to reduce your exposure to mold especially if you are allergic is to keep your house clean, control the humidity levels in your home and avoid environments(damp basements and crawlspaces) likely to have mold growth.
Mold allergies have various symptoms which include:
- Dry skin.
- Itchy nose.
- Itchy throat.
- Skin infections.
- Coughing and sneezing.
- Itchy eyes.
- Running nose.
- Watery eyes.
Common molds that cause allergies include :
Epicoccum, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Acremonium, Trichoderma, dreschlera, and Stachybotrys.
The good news in this is that just because you are allergic to one mold it doesn’t mean you will be allergic to the other.
Here are the most likely factors that contribute to mold allergies :
- Working or living somewhere that has mold growth.
- Working in a mold exposure occupation e.g. farming or baking.
- Living In a home or working in a place with a high humidity level.
- A hereditary or family history of allergies.
In 2004 the research of the Institute of medicine (IOM) showed that indoor mold exposure is linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms, wheeze, and cough in healthy people. The research also declared that mold spores are possibly found in indoor air, on material and surfaces.
Research also shows that excessive exposure to mold-contaminated materials can cause adverse health effects to people, regardless of the type of mold or the extent of the contamination.
As much as some factors contributing to mold allergies cannot be changed others can be prevented in the following ways :
- If you are suspicious of a water leak repair immediately.
- Remove anything dump to dry completely.
- Invest In a dehumidifier. This is a device that removes excess moisture from the air.
- If mold is clearly present it should be removed.
- Vents should be used in areas where moisture condenses e.g. kitchen and bathroom.
Being knowledgeable about what you are allergic to is an added advantage because it helps you take preventative measures to lessen the allergy attack during summer or any other season.
WAYS TO PREVENT MOLD ALLERGIES DURING SUMMER SEASON
- Over-the-counter antihistamines help prevent symptoms before they begin.
- Invest in a dehumidifier - Although it is impossible to control nature one can take the initiative of ensuring his indoor environment is mold-free by keeping it as dry as possible.
- Use of an air purifier.
- Limiting time spent outdoors on days with the high pollen count.
- Wash your hands after coming from the fields.
- Change bed sheets often.
- After allergens exposure tries not to touch your eyes.