(RxWiki News) No matter where you live, you and almost everyone you know have likely experienced allergies at some point.
Continue reading for helpful information about seasonal peak allergens and how to minimize and treat summer allergy symptoms.
Allergens by Season
Different seasons bring different allergens, meaning it's important to realize which ones affect you most so you can be prepared.
In the case of summer, weeds, grasses, pollen and mold are common allergy culprits. Ragweed is one of the most common summer allergens.
The problem? Ragweed can actually travel for hundreds of miles via the wind, so it can be a problem in your area even if it doesn't grow where you live.
You'll also need to look out for food allergies this summer. In fact, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, more than 12 million Americans experience food allergies. These allergens may include seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as melons, peaches and celery.
Other allergens to be mindful of are insect stings. Potentially harmful insects include wasps and yellow jackets, among others. Millions of Americans are allergic to insect stings, with some at risk of suffering life-threatening reactions.
Although the reason why some people attract insects more than others is not completely clear, sweet perfumes and bright clothing may contribute to the problem.
Summer allergy symptoms will be the same as the allergy symptoms you may experience during spring. These symptoms may include the following:
- Runny nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
Summer Allergy Tips
To decrease allergy symptoms in the summer, run your air conditioning with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This will help trap allergens, decreasing the number of allergens you are exposed to.
Also, it may be a good idea to jump in the shower as soon as you get home to rinse the pollen off.
Common allergy medications include the following:
- Antihistamines like Claritin (loratadine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine) and Xyzal (levocetirizine)
- Decongestants like pseudoephedrine
- Combination products
- Corticosteroids, which include nasal sprays
Not all medications are safe for everyone. Speak with your local pharmacist to see which of these medications is best for you.
If you have any questions about managing your allergies, speak with your local pharmacist.
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS