You’re the grill master, the fireworks expert, and the host of the celebration! The neighbors are gearing up and bringing over their secret recipes, but you know your burgers will be all anyone can talk about … except you keep sneezing on all the food!
Letting your allergies win is un-American! Take a look at some of these summer allergens that you need to be aware of and how to deal with them. After all, it is your right to be allergy-free!
During the summer months, allergy sufferers need to be wary of weed pollen, especially ragweed. They are the most common seasonal allergy triggers and are heaviest in July and August.
It’s not possible to completely avoid outdoor allergens, and the 4th of July can’t be celebrated from indoors, so here’s what you can do to make sure you don’t miss out on the fireworks display due to allergies:
- Accessorize: Large or wraparound sunglasses can keep pollen from getting in the eyes. Add a wide-brimmed hat to keep the rest of your face protected, too.
- Know what’s out there: Keep an eye on the pollen count this 4th of July. This will tell you how much of certain pollen is in the air that day. If allergen levels are high, prepare accordingly and take allergy medications before going outside.
- Protect your home: To avoid bringing pollens inside, an air sucking fan could do the trick. Also, if you spent your day outside, take a shower before hopping into bed. This will help rinse off any sticky allergens stuck to your body or hair before they stick to your bedding.
Poison ivy is not something you want to encounter; even it’s name sounds like something to avoid. Not everyone is bothered by this plant, but 3 out of 4 people will have an allergic reaction, so it’s not worth the risk. How should you avoid this pesky plant? Here are some tips:
- When outdoors, keep to open areas free of heavy brush and plants.
- If you’re in the woods, wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.
- If you suspect you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, wash skin and clothes thoroughly and immediately.
- Be aware of smoke from burning brush; when poison ivy is burned, its resin is released in the air and can cause reactions on the face, in the airway, and other exposed skin.
We all know sunscreen is a crucial part of summer safety, but sometimes it can cause a reaction much worse than a sunburn. In some cases, a person may have a contact allergy to the sunscreen itself and a rash will appear where it was applied. Other times, a person may have what is called a contact photoallergy, in which a reaction appears after applying the sunblock and being exposed to the sun.
Even if you don’t suspect a contact allergy to sunscreen, do a patch test before applying the product to your whole body. This is especially important if you’ve never used that kind before. Pick a small area, like the wrist, apply the product, and wait at least 24 hours to make sure the skin doesn’t react.
Bees, wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets are most active during late summer and early fall, and fire ants are active pretty much all year round in many parts of the United States.
Obviously, you want to avoid an encounter with any stingers or biters. Stings can be uncomfortable and painful at best, but can be life-threatening for some. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that you must treat swiftly. People who know they are at risk should always have their Epi-Pen handy, and should know how to use it. You should also always seek medical attention after using your emergency Epi-Pen.
Here are some ways to avoid stings and bites altogether:
- Do not walk around barefoot outside, especially in the grass.
- Do not drink out of cans or bottles that have been sitting open and unattended in case an insect decided to go for a swim.
- Skip the perfume, which can attract creepy-crawlies.
- Leave your vivid, floral patterned clothes in the closet, as they are attractive to various bugs.
Be independent of allergies this Independence Day and for the rest of the summer! Cover all your bases and make an appointment with Dr. Pasha today so that every season is allergy-free!