Tips for battling summer allergies: Paramount for those with health issues
Summer allergies are in some ways worse than spring and fall because people tend to spend more time outdoors. Since so many allergy sources are carried far on summer winds, it’s important to watch out for sneezing and runny noses, especially for those with compromised immune systems or those who aren’t as mobile as they once were.
In the worst cases, allergy symptoms can severely restrict breathing and lead to pneumonia.
Tip 1: Use air conditioning – and replace filters often – to offset pollen buildup. Main causes of summer allergies are the usual culprits: pollen, weeds (especially ragweed), and grasses.
Tip 2: Be watchful of mold. Because the air is much more humid in summer, mold flourishes where it would not at other times of the year.
Tip 3: Heed air-quality warnings: Whether it’s pollen or air pollution, both can severely aggravate breathing for healthy people, not to mention those who are less so. High temperatures combined with humidity make air pollution an ever-present danger in some parts of the country and in large cities everywhere.
All these factors prompt special concern for those who have difficulty breathing or walking.
When outside: Use a mask to combat allergy symptoms, especially when pollen is visible in the air.
If you don’t have air conditioning: With windows open, pollen covers furniture and rugs; it’s a good idea to vacuum (using a mask) more than once a week to keep the indoor pollen count down. An air purifier is also a good investment.
Check local weather reports to learn when the pollen count is high, which usually occurs in early morning hours.
There are many reliable over-the-counter drugs to help fight allergy symptoms (be sure to check with medical professionals before taking any). But preventive measures – such as keeping windows closed, steering clear of lawn mowers and leaf blowers, and using bleach to get rid of mold – can help ease symptoms and control discomfort.