Summer officially begins June 21. That means summer allergens will be in full swing. While spring is considered the worst season for allergies, summer allergies can be just as bad. Summer brings us three full months of allergy triggers that can make anyone miserable. It’s important to know what allergens thrive this season; so, the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are explaining the top 5 summer allergens.
1. Grass Pollen
Grass pollen is one of the main summer allergens. It begins in June and can last until September. Grass pollen is one of the main causes of hay fever. If you sneeze, wheeze, or experience itchy eyes while outdoors in the summer, you may be allergic to grass pollen. A skin prick test can easily diagnose this allergy. Just visit any NY Allergy & Sinus Centers location and book your appointment.
2. Insect Stings and Bites
Beware of bees and mosquitos this season. When these insects sting or bite, it can cause a severe allergic reaction. These insects love hot weather, so be prepared to see a lot of them this season. If you are allergic to bees or mosquitoes, make sure you take precautions when spending time outdoors.
Bees are attracted to bright colors. So while outside, wear subtle clothing. Bees are also known to fly into sweet beverages. Avoid drinking from cans as bees can hide in them. Open cups and bottles with lids are safest this season. Also, wear insect repellent to keep mosquitoes away.
3. Indoor Mold
Mold grows in hot, humid places. Without air conditioning, your home is a breeding ground for mold. Your bathroom and basement are the ideal places. Mold can trigger asthma symptoms and eczema. Eliminate the risk of mold growing indoors by keeping the air conditioning running at a cool temperature and making sure your home stays dry. This means fixing any leaks in the house.
4. Seasonal Produce
Some fruits and vegetables may cause an allergic reaction this season. This is known as oral allergy syndrome. The main foods that cause symptoms are:
These foods are closely associated with pollen so individuals with a pollen allergy, may react to them. Symptoms include swelling and itchiness of the tongue and mouth. It’s best to avoid these foods during the summer.
5. Poison ivy
Poison Ivy affects the majority of Americans. It can be hard to identify at times because it grows in different colors. In summer, the leaves are bright green. It isn’t the plant itself that gives people itchy rashes but an oil called urushiol. It’s also found in poison oak and poison sumac. Urushiol is most active in the height of summer.
Be cautious when camping and doing other outdoor activities. You should avoid any plant with three leaves. While most symptoms will go away on their own, some rashes can get infected. If you believe your rash has gotten infected after coming in contact with poison ivy, contact your NYC allergist at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers.
We advise all allergic individuals to seek treatment for your summer allergies before the season begins. There are many treatment options available. Allergy shots can provide long term relief for those who suffer from allergies year round. One of our allergists can also recommend oral and topical medications to soothe your symptoms. Whatever you’re allergic to, we can treat! Call (212) 686-4448 to schedule your appointment today.
Meet The Physician Collaborator
Dr. Kena Shah is a board-certified physician specializing in adult and pediatric allergy & immunology. She received her degree from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, Florida. She participates in research and has authored and co-authored multiple journal articles. You can book an appointment with her by calling (718) 416-0207 or by visiting one of our six locations.