Spring and fall are typically seasons known to allergy sufferers, but for many, allergies throughout the year are a reality, including during the summer months. While the causes may be different, the symptoms can be just as bad, and could potentially present themselves differently. If you’ve been feeling uncomfortable lately, it could be as a result of summer allergies.
Common Causes of Summer Allergies
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), the most common summer allergies stem from pollen, mold and insect stings. However, there is also a condition known as food pollen syndrome which can come from various fresh produce including celery, apples, and melons. This syndrome is the result of “cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen and raw fruits, vegetables, and some tree nuts.” The symptoms can often be mistaken for a food intolerance, so persistent symptoms should be tested by an allergist to identify the root cause.
Symptoms of Summer Allergies
Typical symptoms of allergies can include a wide array of problems, including:
- Runny, stuffy nose and sneezing
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Rashes – usually eczema, contact dermatitis and hives
- Nausea & vomiting as a result of food allergies (typically affects 4-6% of children and 4% of adults)
While many individuals with allergies will experience the usual sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes, it may not always be that way. Here are some lesser-known and more subtle symptoms you may experience:
- The Allergic Shiner: Thanks to congestion of the small blood vessels under the skin of your eyes, you may be experiencing swelling and discoloration, giving you prominent dark circles.
- An Allergic Face: Also referred to as adenoidal as nasal allergies may cause swelling of your adenoids, which comprise the lymph tissue lining the back of the throat and behind the nose. This swelling may cause your face to appear tired and droopy.
- Prominent Nasal Crease: If you notice a line across the bridge of your nose, it could mean you’ve been rubbing your nose upwards trying to relieve congestion and itching. While this typically accompanies the other symptoms, seeing the line may make it more obvious to you how much discomfort you’re actually in.
- Mouth Breathing: Not many people enjoy breathing solely out of the mouth, so if you’re experiencing severe nasal congestion, this will be a symptom you will most likely notice right away. Unfortunately, those who experienced chronic mouth breathing may develop a high, arched palate, elevated upper lip, and an overbite.
It is important to remember that even if you never experienced allergies before, it is possible you have developed them later in life. Experiencing these symptoms for more than two weeks could indicate you’ve developed allergies, so receiving proper testing and diagnosis from an allergist will help you effectively treat the condition.
Treating Summer Allergies
Over-the-counter allergy medications are available, but the best way to achieve the most effective treatment is to consult with a board-certified allergist-immunologist. There, you will discuss your medical history before the doctor examines and evaluates your unique symptoms. Further testing may be performed to determine the type of allergies you may have or what may be causing your symptoms. Once a comprehensive exam has been performed, the doctor will help guide you through a treatment plan that will provide you relief from allergy symptoms, whether through medication or immunotherapy.
Don’t make yourself suffer through allergy symptoms. If you’re feeling uncomfortable and not sure if it may be allergies, stop in today. We will help you get back to feeling like yourself again and enjoying your summer in no time.