What Are the Top Summer Allergens? (Plus, the Connection to Snoring)

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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! We’ll also touch on some popular indoor activities to check out.

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.

June

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, blue grasses, Orchard, Red top, Sweet Vernal, and Timothy.

July

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.

August

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 windy days create the perfect recipe for air pollution during the summer. That concludes our summer journey.

When a bad allergy day hits in Houston, that doesn’t mean the day is shot. There are a ton of indoor activities that you can enjoy throughout the summer. If museums are your thing, consider a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Houston Museum of Natural Science; or the Menil Collection. If you’re willing to venture outside the loop, Space Center Houston is another “blast-worthy” option. If you’re a foodie at heart, the number of quality restaurants in Houston is seemingly endless. The variety of cuisine we boast in Houston is also impressive, so check out Alison Cook’s Top 100 Restaurants for some mouth-watering options. If you’re into the performing arts, indulge with a trip to the Houston Ballet, Alley Theatre, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, or the Houston Symphony. If your wife is having a bad allergy day, she’ll thank you if you take her shopping at The Galleria. This is just a small sample of the many activities you can enjoy indoors in Houston.

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! If allergens are a part of your life, learn more about allergy management and home immunotherapy. For a potential long-term solution, schedule an appointment with us today!  

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