April showers bring May flowers. For allergy sufferers, June brings…relief? Not quite. While spring is when allergies ramp up for a lot of Houstonians, the summer months can also be tough for many. Summer officially kicked off last week, so we’ll take a look at the top summer allergens on a month-by-month basis. Even if your allergies have you feeling sour, you don’t have to miss out on summer fun!
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, pollen and mold are two of the most common summer culprits. Pollen makes an interesting transition from the spring to the summer. During the spring months, pollen from trees is the heavy hitter. By the time summer rolls around, pollen from our tall friends has mostly subsided and pollen from grasses and weeds take over. Let’s take a look at the month-to-month breakdown.
Longer days and higher temperatures lead to an explosion of grass pollen in June. Even though the types of grass that grow in different regions vary, some of the most common types of grasses in the U.S. that produce pollen include Bermuda, bluegrasses, zoysia, and buffalo.
If grass pollen is your kryptonite, you can return to your life as a superhero in July. While grass pollen tapers off this month, fungus spores and seeds hit hard. If you’re allergic to mold, keep an eye out for fallen leaves, grasses, compost piles, and grains. These are prime locations for the development of mold. In late July, weed pollen season comes to fruition. We’ll cover that in the next section.
While mold continues to be a pesky problem in August, pollen from weeds has joined the party. Similar to grass pollen, the types of weeds that are prevalent vary depending on the location, but some of the most common in the U.S. include ragweed, cockle weed, pigweed, Russian thistle, sagebrush, and tumbleweed. Public enemy number one is ragweed. Ragweed can travel hundreds of miles through the wind, which means that even if it doesn’t grow where you live, you may still come in contact with it.
No matter whether it’s June, July, or August, smog is at its worst during this time of year. Strong sunlight and the lack of wind from the Gulf of Mexico create the perfect recipe for air pollution during the summer. This why the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tracks the air quality index (AQI) on a daily basis. It’s important for those sensitive groups to know the daily AQI forecast so they can plan their outdoor activities accordingly.
There is also a strong connection between allergies and sleep-related issues. In a survey conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Teva Respiratory, close to 60% of allergy sufferers stated that their allergies impacted their sleep quality. Since the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis make it difficult to breathe, this also makes it difficult to sleep and makes snoring more likely. It’s a vicious cycle. One that needs to be addressed as we all know how important consistent, quality sleep is to your well-being.
Don’t let allergies ruin your summer weekend! We’ve got plenty of options for you. Take back your two days of freedom (so your weekdays can just breeze by) and schedule an appointment with Dr. Pasha and his team. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more updates!