If the warm weather has you hot and bothered, then you might be suffering from summer allergies. Spring and Fall allergies tend to get the attention, but even if you don’t find yourself sneezing and suffering in Spring or Fall, you might find yourself feeling less than yourself in the summer. Allergies are sneaky and can cause an attack at any time of year, at any age, even if you’ve never experienced symptoms before.
Summer allergies tend to be less prevalent and talked about than other seasonal allergies, like spring and fall symptoms. Allergist Michael Foggs, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says that symptoms of summer allergies can vary so that they are less recognizable. Along with the classic symptoms of sneezing, running nose and watery eyes, summer allergies can also cause visual signs like, “Black eyes, lines across the nose and other cosmetic symptoms can occur.”
For those that are familiar with their allergy symptoms, provided that they are not too severe, you can probably head to the drugstore for an over-the-counter remedy to provide relief. But if you’ve never had symptoms of allergies before, or if your symptoms are worse than usual or deviate from the norm, head to a professional allergist that can guide you.
You should also seek professional guidance for your summer allergies if you have experienced the following signs, according to the ACAAI:
- Allergic Shiner: An allergic shiner is a reaction caused by the swelling and discoloration from the congestion of small blood vessels beneath the skin in the delicate area around the eyes.
- Allergic (adenoidal) Face: If your face is tired and droopy, then you might have an allergic face. This condition can be caused by nasal allergies swelling the adenoids (lymph tissues that cover the back of the throat and nose).
- Nasal Crease: A nasal crease is a line that goes across the bridge of the nose. It’s usually caused by rubbing your nose to stop congestion and itching.
- Mouth Breathing: When the nose gets congested from allergic rhinitis, you may become a chronic mouth breather. Mouth breathing can cause the development of a high, arched palate, an elevated upper lip, and an overbite. Teens that suffer from allergic rhinitis may need braces to correct resulting dental issues.
If you don’t usually suffer from allergies, then you may think that you just picked up a summer cold. If your symptoms last more than two weeks, you should seek the help of an allergist.
Pollen, mold, and insect stings are the most common causes of summer allergies, but fresh produce, such as celery, apples, and melons, may also be responsible for your symptoms.
Allergies often depend on where you live. Moving to a new area, or going on a vacation, may result in new allergies from your surroundings. Weeds, grass, and pollution can cause allergic reactions when outside. Inside, if you don’t have an air filtration system, you may find yourself allergic to dust mites, mold, and dander.
Visiting an allergist can determine the source of your allergy and the best way to treat it. Guessing on your own can simply mask symptoms while you continue to suffer.
Some people have year round allergies, so however you usually treat your allergies should also help with summer symptoms.
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