5 Summertime Allergies to Watch Out For

July 17, 2013
by Michael Barber
5 Summertime Allergies to Watch Out For

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five Americans suffers from some sort of allergy. In addition, allergies have increased since the early 1980s. Summertime often triggers allergic reactions but what are the top allergens to watch out for in the Summer?

Ragweed Allergy

WebMD reports there are "17 different species of ragweed in the U.S." Prevalent in August and September, ragweed allergic reactions include sneezing, nasal congestion, sniffles, puffy eyes, itchy throat, hives, and sleep disruptions. Those who are severely allergic to ragweed may also suffer from chronic sinusitis.

The most common areas for ragweed are in the Eastern and Midwest states, however, summer winds can carry the ragweed pollens as far as 400 miles. Dr. Christine B. Franzese tells WebMD "The reality is there is not a corner of the country where there is no ragweed pollen." Scientists also believe the increase in carbon monoxide and recent hot summers are extending ragweed allergy season into October.

Bermuda Grass Allergy

The University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources Department offers that Bermuda grass is seen in California, Florida, and in many southern and southwestern states. This type of grass grows prevalently at elevations below 3,000 feet and many people suffer allergic reactions from this grass.

The symptoms can range from asthma-like symptoms to itching to wheezing to headache pain. Others may experience watery, teary or itchy eyes, a runny nose or scratchy, or sore throat. Bermuda grass allergic symptoms also include cough and conjunctivitis. Parents with small children may notice a persistent upward rubbing of the nose—a common symptom of Bermuda grass allergies.

Insect Bite Allergies

Summer is also the time when we see the most insects such as bees, yellow-jackets, wasps and mosquitoes. When a person is bitten by any of these insects, they may experience red bumps and itching.

Those who are allergic to certain insect bites, however, may suffer severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention such as anaphylaxis. Others may experience severe itching, hives, or difficulty breathing.

The important thing to note with insect allergies is a person may experience severe itching upon a first bite but anaphylaxis from a second bite. It's essential for those allergic to insect bites to visit an urgent care center near them as insect bites and the reactions people face are curable.

Cookout / BBQ Smoke Allergies

Another common summertime allergy comes from something we love to do in the summer—cookout, barbeque and have campfires. Some people are sensitive to smoke which can trigger breathing problems or an asthma attack.

The type of wood used for barbecuing or making camp fires can also trigger allergic reactions such as sneezing and watery eyes. The wood most experience smoke allergies from is the mesquite tree that is common in the southwest.

Mold Allergies

In states where the humidity is high during summer, some may experience mold allergy symptoms. Once spores are released (also known as mold seeds) they can spread during morning fogs and high humidity levels.

Mold allergies are most common from July to late summer and symptoms include sneezing and a runny nose. Others may experience the opposite—dry nose and chest congestion. Some patients have severe hay fever symptoms due to mold allergies. Mold season drops once weather is cold. You can get quick care for your mold allergies by visiting a walk in clinic.

These 5 summertime allergens are ones to watch out for so it's always best to speak with your physician or urgent care doctor about reactions to summertime allergies. Doctors can prescribe or recommend over-the-counter medications to help ease symptoms.