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Summer Allergies

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Many of the same allergic triggers that can make you feel bad in spring last into summer.

What Causes Summer Allergies?

Like spring, the biggest summer allergy trigger is inhalant allergens. When pollen gets into the noses of certain people, it triggers the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.

Higher pollen counts usually mean worse symptoms.

Trees are usually done pollinating by late spring, leaving mostly grasses and weeds to trigger summer allergies.

Allergies vary by the region in which you live. Here are some of the worst summer allergy offenders:

Weeds

Ragweed

Cockleweed

Pigweed

Russian thistle

Sagebrush

Tumbleweed

Grasses

Bermuda

Blue grasses

Orchard

Red Top

Sweet vernal

Timothy

One of the most common summer allergy triggers is ragweed. Ragweed can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind. Even if it doesn’t grow where you live, it can make you feel bad if you’re allergic to it.

Summer air pollution can make allergy symptoms worse. One of the most common pollutants is ozone, which is created in the atmosphere by a combination of sunlight, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons from burning fuel. The stronger sunlight and calmer winds during summer can create clouds of ozone around some cities.

Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and other insects can also cause allergic reactions in some people when they sting. Fire ants are also out in summer. Their bites can also cause life threatening allergic reactions.

Inside, molds love damp areas, including the basement and bathrooms. Their spores get into the air and can cause problems for allergy sufferers.

Dust mites -- microscopic insects -- peak during summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures and nest in beds, fabric, and carpets. Their residue can get into the air, triggering sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses.

What Are the Symptoms of Summer Allergies?

Summer allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Allergic reactions to insects usually cause mild symptoms, such as itching and localized swelling. But in a small percentage of people they can lead to a severe allergic reaction, with swelling of the throat or tongue, dizziness, nausea, and shock. This is an emergency and requires immediate medical help.

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