Summer’s a lot less fun when you’re battling allergy symptoms. And while some people think of spring as peak allergy season, the fact is seasonal allergies can occur any time of the year. An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance, such as pollen or mold, as a foreign invader. As a result, your body reacts by releasing chemicals called histamines to attack the allergens.
Quick Statistics: It’s estimated that 1 in 6 adults struggle with seasonal allergies.
Each season has different allergens as different plants blossom and grow. If you experience seasonal allergies during the summer months, your immune system may react to one of these common summer allergens.
Quick Tips: It’s not uncommon for people with seasonal allergies to also have asthma. Allergy triggers can exacerbate asthma symptoms, and sometimes trigger an asthma attack. If you have asthma and seasonal allergies, we recommend working with an allergist to find the right treatment option for you.
Your healthcare provider or allergist may recommend a skin test or blood test to identify which allergen triggers your seasonal allergies. Alternatively, you may also decide to use over-the-counter treatment options. You and your healthcare provider can work together to find the best option to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Speaking of symptoms, some common allergy symptoms include:
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, causes symptoms in the nose—a.k.a. itching, running, congestion, and sneezing. It’s not uncommon for allergens to also cause symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, which leads to itchy, red, and watery eyes.
Quick Statistics: 70% of people with allergic rhinitis also experience allergic conjunctivitis.
Here are some of the most effective ways to manage your allergy symptoms during the summer months, according to the Mayo Clinic.
If at-home treatments aren’t effective at alleviating seasonal allergy symptoms, you can talk to your health care provider about immunotherapy. Also called allergy shots or desensitization, immunotherapy trains your immune system to respond normally to allergens, rather than treat them as a threat. Typically, this is done when other treatments haven’t worked. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your quality of life with allergy symptoms, despite using at-home and over-the-counter methods, it might be time to ask about immunotherapy.