The return of summer brings with it the return of warmer temperatures and outdoor activities. Thanks to pollen and grass, summer also means sneezing and sniffling for millions of Americans. In fact, allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide. Of course, this season of allergies does not affect everyone. What causes some people to suffer from summer allergies? Here are potential causes and your options.
The main cause of seasonal summer allergies is the pollen released by grass. The most common allergic reaction to pollen is often referred to as hay fever. The type of pollen released into the air varies depending upon the variety of tree or plant that releases it.
Pollen is a fine powder that easily disperses through the air and can be carried by the wind for miles. It is easily inhaled through the mouth or nose, triggering allergic reactions in those who are susceptible to it. Grass allergies are at their peak during early summer.
Summer Allergy Symptoms
When exposed to pollen, summer allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, watery eyes, and a headache. Symptoms may also appear in the ears, on the skin, or in the lining of the stomach. This response is triggered by the body itself, trying to protect you from the foreign substance, namely the pollen you just inhaled. Simply put, your body releases a chemical substance known as histamines into your bloodstream to fight back against the invading pollen.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure to summer allergies, but the use of certain medications, coupled with an awareness of what you are allergic to, can go a long way in helping to deal with allergies.
Perhaps the best way to deal with seasonal allergies is to become aware of what substances trigger your allergic reactions. Allergy testing, which will determine which trees or plants produce the pollens that trigger your body’s immune response, is always a good idea.
The National Allergy Bureau has an online resource with specific pollen counts for certain grasses, mold spores, and weeds around the United States. Knowing the pollen counts around southern California can help make your allergy medicine more effective. Antihistamines typically work best when taken preemptively.
Come to UrgentMED for Summer Allergy Relief
At UrgentMED, our highly skilled and compassionate staff can help you with non-life threatening allergies. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout Southern California, we offer fast, professional service without a long wait. We offer weekday, weeknight, and weekend hours to serve you when you need it most. If you suffer from summer allergies, we can assist you and treat your symptoms. Find the location nearest to you today.
Allergy season is coming up folks, and with an estimated 50 million Americans suffering from allergies, it’s sure to be a sneezy season. Sure, you can stock up on antihistamines and drudge through the late Winter and early Spring months in a haze. But, wouldn’t it be easier to learn the common causes of allergies and avoid them?
We think so!
Find out the most common causes of allergies below and make sure to stop by one of our 18 convenient locations if you need some speedy allergy relief.
Airborne allergens are what people typically think of when they think of allergies. These are the tiny particles that cause you to get runny eyes and noses, start sneezing your head off, and generally feel crummy.
These allergens enter your body, normally through the nose, and cause your immune system to jump into overdrive. Your immune system thinks they’re harmful bacteria and begins to produce antibodies to fight them. These antibodies, combined with other chemicals they release called histamines, create the allergy symptoms you know and love.
Airborne allergens include a wide range of particles, including:
- Dust mites
Food allergies are, generally speaking, a bit more serious than airborne allergies. While airborne allergies are frustrating, they’re rarely fatal. Food allergies can be if they produce anaphylaxis.
Almost all food allergens are proteins. Your immune system mistakes these proteins for harmful particulars in the same way they mistake airborne allergens for harmful bacteria. The result is an immune reaction that causes allergy symptoms, including anaphylaxis in extreme cases.
Common food allergies include:
- Tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts)
Allergies to pets with fur are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma. In the United States, as many as three in 10 people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. Pet allergens can collect on furniture and other surfaces. These allergens will not lose their strength for a long time. Sometimes the allergens may remain at high levels for several months and cling to walls, furniture, clothing, and other surfaces.
The term “latex” refers to the protein in the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree. It also refers to “natural rubber products” made from that sap. Latex is in many everyday products, such as balloons, rubber bands, prophylactics, diaphragms, bandages, and more. For certain individuals, contact with these products can cause an allergic reaction. Some people have allergic reactions by breathing in latex fibers in the air.
Insect stings are another common culprit of allergic reactions. They’re also another cause of anaphylaxis, making them a bit more serious than airborne allergens. Insect sting allergic reactions are caused by your immune system reacting to the insect’s venom.
There are four main types of insects whose strings cause allergic reactions: bees, hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps. Fire ants can also produce allergic reactions, though these are less common than stings from flying insects.
Medications can also be allergens. They produce an allergic reaction when your white blood cells misidentify them as a threat. These white blood cells then release antibodies that cause allergic symptoms. Medication allergies can also result in anaphylaxis and something called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. Although these severe reactions are rare, they can happen.
All medications can cause an allergy reaction depending on someone’s individual biochemistry. Yet, there are some common culprits: antibiotics (specifically penicillin and amoxicillin), sulfa antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly called NSAIDs, including aspirin and ibuprofen), and chemotherapy medications.
Suffering from Allergies? UrgentMED Can Help
There you have the most common causes of allergies. Learn them and make sure to stay away from these triggers! If you have a severe allergic reaction, come into Urgent Med today. We accept a wide range of insurances and have competitive pricing if you don’t use insurance. More importantly, you can be in and out on your lunch break and get immediate allergy relief. Come into one of our 18 convenient locations near you today.