https://www.webmd.com/allergies/tree-pollen-allergyAlthough seasonal allergies are typically associated with spring, the 2022 allergy season is expected to last from March until October — with July providing a slight respite during allergen-heavy months. Despite the decreased presence of allergens in the dead of summer, summer can still prove challenging for allergy sufferers as more people head outside to enjoy the sunshine.
Summer allergies can rain on even the sunniest days, and knowing which allergies to look out for during the summer months can help you make the most of the warmer months and avoid summer allergy symptoms. In this blog from Trusted Referral Network, we outline which summer allergies to look out for and how to prevent them from casting a dark cloud over your summer.
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Keep an Eye Out for These Summer Allergies
Fruits and Vegetables
This summer, there’s one allergen that the majority of outdoor enthusiasts will come in contact with: ragweed. Although the plant does not release seeds until August, it is spread across nearly the entire United States and releases up to a billion pollen grains — meaning this allergen is almost impossible to avoid. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) estimates that 15% of Americans suffer Ragweed allergy symptoms every summer, including a runny nose, hay fever, and even asthma-like allergy symptoms. While there is no cure for a ragweed allergy, tracking daily pollen counts can help you avoid allergy symptoms. Taking your shoes off before entering your home during the summer months can prevent you from bringing the pollen inside with you.
Some of the best parts about summer are warm days and cooler nights, which are perfect for afternoon barbecues that turn into evenings spent around the fire pit. Unfortunately, this is also the ideal time for tree pollen — which thrives when days are warm and evenings are cool. Unlike ragweed pollen, tree pollen is known at the start of summer and is typically one of the first summer allergens to appear. Grass pollen can often overlap with tree pollen but naturally occurs later in the summer. Avoiding these allergens can be difficult during the summer, but some allergy tracker apps monitor pollen counts to help you determine which high pollen count days might be best spent indoors.
Mold allergies bring similar symptoms to other common allergies but can also cause more severe reactions in rare cases. Fungi (including mold and mildew) are adaptable, and some forms of mold thrive in very hot, dry climates while others propagate in warm, damp ones. This means that, in the U.S, mold is hard to avoid. However, those with mold allergies can limit their exposure to mold spores by wearing a dust mask while performing outdoor activities or restricting outdoor time on high mold days altogether.
Anyone who’s been in contact with nettle can tell you that stinging nettle rash can put a damper on even the brightest summer days, and this plant is a common summer staple. However, we should note that the rash associated with nettles is not an allergic reaction but skin irritation. With that said, individuals who are allergic to nettles may experience heightened symptoms — including difficulty breathing, which may require immediate medical attention. Avoiding nettles, especially on summer hikes, can be difficult, but there are ways to limit irritation. You can remove any nettles that may be clinging on by taking a piece of tape or a wax strip to your skin. Further, resisting the urge to scratch (as challenging as it may be) will prevent the rash from intensifying.
Fruits and Vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables share similar proteins with allergens and can therefore inspire allergic reactions in those with sensitivities. For example, Individuals with sensitivities to grass and tree pollen may have an allergic reaction to oranges, tomatoes, and celery. In contrast, those allergic to ragweed pollen may have the same issue with zucchini, melons, and bananas. Responses to these foods are generally mild but can still be avoidable if you recognize a common allergen and avoid your fruity favorites during the summer.
Find Your Allergy Health Plan With Trusted Referral Network
While the above tips can help you avoid common summer allergies, the best defense against seasonal allergies is the right health insurance plan. The right plan can afford an allergy sufferer access to an allergy test and allergy shots –– both of which can be a saving grace from outdoor allergens. In addition to taking the above steps to avoid common summer allergies, call on Trusted Referral Network to make sure you have the right health plan for your seasonal allergy needs.
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Resources: 1. https://www.aafa.org/ragweed-pollen/