Allergies are common the whole year round and there are people who are really prone to develop allergies even at the slightest stimulus. However, the summer season makes these people more prone than usual in developing allergies.

Allergies happen when your immune system identifies an airborne substance that’s usually harmless as dangerous. It responds to that substance, or allergen, by releasing histamines and other chemicals into your bloodstream. Those chemicals produce the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Summer allergy is usually easier to diagnose than other allergies. If you have allergic symptoms that only occur at certain times of the year, it’s a sign that you have seasonal allergic rhinitis. Your doctor may also check your ears, nose, and throat to make a diagnosis. Allergy testing usually isn’t necessary. Your treatment for allergic rhinitis will likely be the same, no matter what type of allergen you react to.

Summer allergy symptoms can easily be mistaken for colds, food intolerances or other ailments. If your symptoms are persistent and lasting for more than two weeks you should see your allergist for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment. Finding and treating the source of your suffering can also clear up other unwanted symptoms.

The best medicine for hay fever and year-round allergic rhinitis is avoidance. Medications are also available to treat symptoms of hay fever. Some people also try alternative treatments.

Take steps to avoid seasonal allergens. For instance, use an air conditioner with a HEPA filter to cool your home in summer, rather than ceiling fans. Try to stay indoors when pollen counts are high. At times of year when your allergy is active:

1. keep your windows shut

2. limit your time outdoors

3. consider wearing a dust mask when you’re outside, especially on windy days

4. It’s also important to avoid cigarette smoke, which can aggravate the symptoms.

The top 5 allergens that is the usual culprit in the development of Allergies are:

1. Pollen

2. Molds

3. Insect stings

4. Sensitivity to sunscreens

5. Food

If you notice number 4, be careful with the choice of sunscreen products that you use since it may cause allergy to your skin. Choose one that is hypoallergenic to prevent it causing itchiness and rashes in your skin.

Summer air pollution can also make your symptoms worse. One of the most common is ozone. It’s created in the atmosphere from a mix of sunlight and chemicals from car exhaust. Summer’s strong sunlight and calm winds create clouds of ozone around some cities.

There are a lot of over the counter medications available for you during summer allergy season but please, consult your doctor and do not self medicate. Sometimes, the medicines that you take without doctors supervision may aggravate instead of treat your condition.

First Medical Team Healthcare Specialist Group [FMT] provides quality pre- employment medical services to overseas workers, particularly seafarers, at very affordable prices. FMT also handles medical repatriations. Dr. Teves is also a founding member of the Maritime Doctors and Clinics Association of the Philippines [MARCDOC].n

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