Summer is relaxation season—a time to enjoy. Students have left school. Families have planned for their vacations. We have longer days, with everyone wanting to spend a little more time outdoors. But then, the summer is also the time when severe allergies are at their worst.
Allergic reactions cause annoying symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose. With these symptoms, sleeping becomes difficult, depriving us of energy we need to make the most of our summer. For asthmatic people, allergies can cause episodes of coughing and wheezing, making breathing difficult.
Depending on where you are in the country, summer could usher in its own unique set of allergens.
Pollen is the chief allergen during the summer
Pollen season starts in late spring. This is the time weeds and grasses begin to trigger allergies.
Plants that contribute to the sniffle or sneezes of the summer season include:
- Russian thistle
- Blue grasses
- Red top
- Sweet vernal
Ragweed is a common allergen. Ragweed can travel long distances on the wind. So, even if you it isn’t native to your area, you may still experience symptoms if you are allergic to it.
Dairy allergy is a reaction of the immune system to one of the proteins in milk. The primary cause of dairy allergy is the alpha S1-casein protein. It is found in cow’s milk.
A dairy allergy is usually confused with lactose intolerance due to the similarity in their symptoms. However, both conditions are entirely different. In lactose intolerance, the affected individual has a lactase deficiency. And so, he or she is unable to metabolize lactose (commonly known as milk sugar).
Cow’s milk is the primary cause of dairy allergy in young children. It is also among the eight foods that contribute to 90% of childhood allergies. The others are peanuts, eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat, shellfish, or fish.
Smog: usually at its worst during the summer
The air pollution that occurs during the summer can worsen your symptoms. One of the common causes is ozone at the ground level. Ozone consists of chemicals from the exhaust of cars and sunlight. The intense sunlight and calm winds of the summer cause the formation of dense clouds of ozone around some parts of the country.
Wasps, bees, hornets, yellow jackets, fire ants, etc. can trigger allergies when they sting. If you are severely allergic, a run-in with any of these insects could result in a life-threatening situation.
Symptoms of insect bites are usually mild, like swelling or itching around the area. In some cases, they may trigger a severe allergic reaction. Your throat may seem like it is swelling to the point where you can’t breathe. Your tongue may also swell. You’ll experience a dizzy or nauseous feeling, or slide into a shock. This is an emergency condition, and you should seek medical help immediately.
In many parts of the country, the summer also comes along with some poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. Even though the shape and size of these plants vary, they all share one thing in common – they produce urushiol oil. When your skin makes contact with the roots and leaves of these plants, the oil may trigger an itchy rash that could last several days. The best way to avoid this allergy is to identify the troublesome plant and avoid it as much as you can.
An allergy test is the best way to identify your personal allergies. (https://www.testmyallergy.com/). An allergy test aims to determine whether you have an allergic reaction to a known allergen. Allergy testing may be in the form of a skin test or a blood test.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, at least 50 million Americans have one form of allergy or the other. Seasonal allergies affect at least 40 million Americans.
According to the World Allergy Organization, at least 250,000 people die of asthma annually. However, with the right allergy care, these deaths can be avoided.
How is an allergy test performed?
Testing for allergy may involve either a blood test or a skin test. General advice is to embark on an elimination diet if you discover that you have a food allergy, as in dairy allergy.
After the test and identification of the allergens responsible for your symptoms, you may wish to share your results with your doctor. You can then work with them to create an effective plan for avoiding these allergens. Your doctor may also prescribe medication that will help to ease your symptoms.
Test my allergy offers efficient allergy testing services. We work with test facilities to provide the support you need on your journey to good health.