The Truth About Summer Allergies
Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 05/22/2017
The end of spring doesn't mean the end of allergy season. It means the start of summer allergy season - which includes many of the same symptoms as spring allergies and sometimes worse.
The sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes of summer allergies are caused by many of the same triggers of spring allergies - from weeds to grass to insect stings.
Here's a closer look at summer allergies:
1. Summer Allergy Triggers Are Often In Your Home
Some of the most common allergy triggers - no matter what season - are hiding in your home. These allergens include pollen from trees, grass and weeds that are brought into the home from outside, as well as common household dust. Moreover, molds that love damp areas, like your basement and bathroom, can set off allergic reactions.
Regular vacuuming can reduce the build-up of allergens within your home, but most residential vacuums don't catch all allergens. Be sure you steam clean your floors and deep clean your carpets every year to remove as many allergens as possible.
2. Summer Allergy Symptoms Aren't Always 'Traditional'
While the symptoms of summer allergies are often the same as they are for spring allergies, they can also cause cosmetic symptoms that are often severe:
Black eyes- Also known as an allergic shiner, dark circles may form under your eyes due to swelling from congestion beneath the skin in your eye area.
Adenoidal face- Allergies may cause swelling of the adenoids - the tissue that lines the back of your throat and extends to your nose - which results in a tired and droopy appearance.
Nasal crease- Rubbing your nose in an upward motion to relieve itching and nasal congestion can cause a line to appear across the bridge of your nose.
Mouth breathing- Allergic rhinitis, in which several nasal congestion occurs, can result in chronic mouth breathing - which, in turn, is associated with an elevated upper lip, a high-arched palate and an overbite. Teens may need braces to correct the dental issues caused by allergic rhinitis.
3. Watch Out For Air Pollution
Smog is typically at its highest levels during the summer and can easily make your allergy symptoms worse. Summer's strong sunlight and calm winds can create clouds of smog, particularly around cities. Amarillo has a low smog level, but if you travel this summer to a bigger city, you may want to pack some extra antihistamines.
4. Insect Stings Are More Common In The Summer
There are a wide variety of insects that can cause allergic reactions. Bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants and yellow jackets are the worst offenders. These insects tend to be more active in the summer and can cause reactions that are life-threatening to some people.
Dust mites, which are microscopic insects that peak during the summer, can also set off sneezing, wheezing and runny noses.
To learn more about how seasonal allergies affect the eyes, download our free seasonal allergies infographic below.