Most of us usually see summer as a time for fun in the sun and a break from spring pollen but, unfortunately, that may not be the case for all allergy sufferers. In fact, the summer heat can make allergies worse than usual.
Let your certified McAllen physician assistant, Jonathan Lerma, and his team of sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group of Valley ENT explain how summer heat can impact your allergies.
Heat Contributes to the Growth of Pollen
While pollen can affect allergies at any time of the year, those who are most susceptible to it and ragweed may notice a drastic increase in their symptoms during the summer months.
In extreme heat, more pollen is produced, and with summer winds it can get spread around more easily.
It’s Not Summer Without Summer Bugs
There’s plenty of notable summer bugs that can cause you to have an allergic reaction, but we’re talking primarily about cockroaches. Of all non-plant or mold allergies, cockroaches are one of the most common insects that people are allergic to.
Cockroaches are always present in Texas, but summer is the time they become the most prominent and abundant. The feces, saliva, and shedding body parts of cockroaches may all be allergy triggers, and these allergens are spread by winds sweeping them into the air.
Luckily, reducing the effects of your cockroach allergy is the same as lessening the number of cockroaches in your house. Keep every area of your house clean, keep food in containers, and fix leaks to water and regions where cockroaches tend to flock.
Heat Moves Us Indoors
If you’ve ever had one of those days where you check the weather app and notice three digit temperatures, it’s only natural for you to want to have a lazy day inside with air conditioning.
However, when we stay inside for long periods of time (and also due to stay-at-home orders), we are exposing ourselves to indoor allergens no matter how clean you may try to keep your house. Roughly 70% of homes have mold behind their walls. For some, a little mold can be fine and not really influence health or breathing, but mold allergies are very common, and in many cases, that could mean our indoor air quality might actually be worse than the outdoors.
Also, mold isn’t the only source of the sniffles inside your house. Dust mites are also a big factor. Dust mites and mold are year-round allergies that can greatly affect your health. Dust mites also like to spend much of their time where you are (hopefully) spending eight hours each day: your bed.
Dust can be much more manageable than mold since it’s not hiding behind the wall, but if you have any kids, pets, roommates, or anyone sharing your space with you, managing it can become less possible.
Handling Allergies Increased by the Heat of the Summer
The Mayo Clinic recommends that even if you are treating your allergy symptoms, try to avoid triggers. If, for example, you’re allergic to pollen, stay indoors with windows closed when pollen count is high. Additionally, air conditioning can help reduce exposure to hot, humid air.
Bear in mind that certain days are worse than others in regards to heat, humidity, and air pollution. By keeping track of weather updates and air quality forecasts, you can limit your time outdoors on especially hot or high air pollution days to help avoid provoking your allergies.
Also, taking your medication as prescribed on top of keeping quick-relief medications with you at all times can help you lessen the degree to which changing weather conditions influence you and your breathing.
Find Relief This Summer with the Glatz Group of Valley ENT
Despite your greatest efforts, you might still experience your allergy symptoms getting worse in the summer heat – but that doesn’t mean you have to continue to suffer.
You may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure conducted in our office that can safely and effectively reduce uncomfortable and painful allergy-related symptoms. Every day we make sure that our office is a safe, healthy space for our patients and staff alike, especially due to the current circumstances of COVID-19.
Whether you prefer to have your symptoms addressed online through our telemedicine services or a phone call, we’re ready and ‘Glatz’ to help. For an in-office procedure, we can set that up with you as soon as possible.