Allergies are one of the most common chronic illnesses in the United States. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allergies are responsible for nearly $20 billion in annual healthcare costs. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year – some repeat cases, some entirely new, all of them extremely annoying to the person suffering from allergies.
But what about summer allergies? This seasonal affliction doesn’t get the attention of its more widespread cousin spring allergies, but it’s a significant health challenge in its own right. This blog will look at how summer allergies develop, certain symptoms to look out for, and effective strategies to help manage your condition.
Summer Allergy Catalysts
What causes summer allergies? It might be easier to list the things that DON’T cause summer allergies. Depending on an individual’s particular sensitivities, it can be one or any of the following non-plant sources:
- Insect stings (bees, hornets, yellowjackets)
- Fresh produce (including raw fruits and vegetables)
- Certain tree nuts (pine nuts, in particular)
- Dust mites
For these allergy irritants, you can adjust your lifestyle to lessen the severity of summer allergy symptoms. Removing mold from damp, wet areas can help. Avoiding certain fruits and vegetables is also a smart idea. Ask your doctor which ones you’re allergic to. As for the insect stings? Well, we’re not telling you to stay indoors all summer (insects can work their way inside your home, too), but using a safe, all-natural insect repellant has been shown to help allergy sufferers deal with their condition.
The pollen and chemical compounds of certain weeds, grasses and flowers also contribute to summer allergy symptoms. Here are the worst offenders:
- Bermuda grass
- Russian thistle
Summer Allergy Symptoms
How can you tell if you have summer allergies, and not a cold? Typically, allergy symptoms surface suddenly, with little warning. Plus, allergy duration may last for up to 2 weeks. Common symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing
- Rash / itchy skin
- Watery eyes
- And many more
Watery eyes are the one symptom that distinguishes summer allergies from a summer cold. If you experience sudden symptoms accompanied by watery eyes, there’s a 99% chance you have summer allergies – hence the other nickname for summer allergies: “sudden” allergies.
The 2016 Summer Allergy Season
So what is the outlook for the upcoming summer allergy season? A look at the recent past may hold some clues. Constantly changing climate conditions have resulted in shorter yet more severe summer allergy seasons in the past few years. Last year, for example, a wet winter followed by a warm, dry spring had everyone from doctors to meteorologists predicting a few intense weeks of summer allergies, but a shortened season. Plus, an uptick in overall higher global temperatures has contributed to an increase in normal levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and last year’s summer allergy season had ultra-high pollen concentrations, thanks to CO2. Those predictions were fairly accurate, and similar expectations are in store for this year’s summer allergy season.
Will it play out exactly this way? Maybe, maybe not. But if you suffer from severe summer allergies, three are some preventative measures you can put in place before the humidity and heavy pollen sets in. One common-sense, pre-emptive strategy is to start taking your allergy medications before summer really kicks into gear.
To stay one step ahead of summer allergies, it takes smarts, a little bit of luck and solid medical treatment. Urgent Care Extra’s comprehensive healthcare solutions – available at every one of our Arizona walk-in clinics – include effective treatments for your summer allergies, including antihistamines, nasal spray decongestants, eyedrops and other products and medications to help you get through the 2016 summer allergy season as healthy as possible.
Your 2016 Summer Allergy Management Strategy
No two people suffer from summer allergies exactly the same. For some people, preventative medication is the key. For others, extra time indoors makes all the difference. Yet regardless of the duration and severity of summer allergy symptoms, it always helps to have reliable, affordable medical treatment available whenever you need it. To supplement your medication / lifestyle / illness avoidance methods, Urgent Care Extra adds an extra element of coverage. Our allergy treatment program can help you during the dog days of summer, and best of all, no appointments are necessary! Thankfully, Arizona’s hot and dry climate isn’t as bad as other areas in the United States. But summer allergies still impact thousands of people in the region.
To get immediate, effective allergy treatment, stop by an Urgent Care Extra walk-in healthcare clinic at your earliest convenience. Our flexible hours, professional medical care providers, affordable services and convenient, no-appointment policy makes UCE your 2016 summer allergy treatment headquarters. To learn more about how we can help, please call us at (480) 988-9108.