Spring Time Allergies – Achoo!

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies – ahchoo! – also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever – ahchoo! – affect more than one in five people, according to the Mayo Clinic.  They are an annoyance that can reduce quality of life by – ahchoo! – rudely interrupting your day-to-day routine.  However, some seasonal allergies are more serious than that and can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.  One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to know the common causes of spring and summer allergies.

allergy alert bracelets

1. Pollen

Pollen allergies are some of the most common seasonal allergies – mostly because everywhere you look, plants and trees are producing pollen.  This allergen is hard to avoid because it is airborne and can travel for miles to reach you.  The best way to control pollen allergies is to watch the pollen count and try to avoid the outdoors on dry, windy days and in the early morning, when the count is highest.

Grasses and Trees that Produce Pollen

  • Timothy Grass
  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Johnson Grass
  • Bermuda Grass
  • Redtop Grass
  • Orchard Grass
  • Sweet Vernal Grass
  • Oak Trees
  • Ash Trees
  • Elm Trees
  • Hickory Trees
  • Pecan Trees
  • Mountain Cedar Trees

2. Mold

It’s hiding in our homes, our offices, our schools.  It is omnipresent, lurking in the shadows of our bathrooms and our basements, waiting to attack.  It’s a nasty little four-letter-word with the power to make us sniffle, sneeze and cough: mold.  Mold can grow in any warm, damp place at any time of year, but according to the Mayo Clinic, mold spores multiply in the warm summer months, when indoor humidity is higher than 50 percent. Outdoor mold commonly grows in the spring on plants that were killed in the winter, causing mold allergies to flair in the spring and summer months.  To prevent an allergic reaction to mold, stay inside when the mold count is high and consider installing an air conditioner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.  These filters help clean the air more thoroughly and trap spores, according to the AAFA.

3. Contact Allergens

-Poisonous Plants

Lasting childhood memories are often made swimming in ponds, hiking through the woods and roasting marshmallows at summer camp – but this is also a prime location for this predator to hide. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are plants to watch for when you’re spending time outdoors.  Familiarize yourself with each plant’s appearance and avoid contact with these dangerous allergens.

-Insect Stings

stinging insectsAccording to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 100 people die each year from insect allergies.  Most of the time, insect stings are only mild nuisances, but bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants can cause severe allergic reactions in people with insect allergies.  Symptoms of a severe reaction could include:

  • Hives, itching and swelling beyond the site of the sting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Dizziness/Fainting
  • Drop in Blood Pressure

If you experience any of these symptoms when you are stung by an insect, you are having a severe allergic reaction and need to take immediate action.  Anyone with a serious allergy who carries medication should also wear a medical ID with that information engraved.  We recommend engraving your important medical information in the following format.  Be sure to check with your doctor and find out what they recommend you include on your medical ID tag.

  1. First and Last Name
  2. Medical Condition(s)
  3. Life Threatening Allergies *edit: Carries EPI pen
  4. Important Medications
  5. In Case of Emergency Number or Doctor’s Number

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