9 Top Summer Allergens

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Amy McGorry on August 21, 2021
  • mother-and-daughter-in-field-blowing-bubbles
    Allergies are not limited to the spring and fall.
    Sneezing and watery itchy eyes are symptoms we commonly see during the spring months as the buds begin to bloom. However, these symptoms don’t always go away when the calendar changes to summer. Let’s look at some of the culprits that can trigger your summer allergies as you head into the hot months.
  • Ragweed plant
    1. Ragweed
    Experts say ragweed plays a significant role when it comes to allergies. It usually appears in August and lasts through the first frost. And pollen levels peak in the middle of the day. To avoid ragweed pollen ruining your summer vacation, allergy experts recommend exercising indoors on days the pollen count is high. Wear sunglasses and hats when you’re outside to keep pollen off your face and eyes. And shower at night to wash off any pollen that may have come in contact with your hair or body.
  • close up of grass
    2. Grass Pollen
    Grass pollen can be a nightmare for some allergy sufferers trying to enjoy their summer vacation or golf game. Grass pollen, especially from ryegrass, is another allergy trigger that rears its head during the summer months. Keep your grass short and wear a mask while cutting your lawn. Shut windows and use air conditioning with a vent to limit exposure to grass pollen. And be sure to discuss taking an antihistamine with your doctor.
  • celery, veggies, vegetable, food, snack, green
    3. Melon, Bananas, Celery, Apples
    That veggie platter or summer fruit salad seems like a great idea for your barbeque, but for pollen allergy sufferers, some of the foods could cause itchy, tingling, and even swelling of the mouth. This reaction is known as oral allergy syndrome. Certain foods like melons, bananas, celery and apples can cause an allergic reaction in people affected by certain pollens. Oral allergy syndrome is rarely life threatening. Speak to your physician to rule out food allergies and to discuss medications like antihistamines.
  • poison-ivy
    4. Poison Ivy
    Going on a hike or puttering around in the garden? Be on the lookout for poison ivy. To avoid a case of itchy, blotchy skin caused by contact with this plant, stay in open areas and stay out of bushes during outdoor activities. If you’re gardening, wear long sleeves, long pants, and gloves to protect your skin from an accidental brush with poison ivy. If you get a rash from poison ivy, your doctor can prescribe topical ointments or oral antihistamines and even cortisone in severe cases.
  • girl rubbing in sunscreen
    5. Non-hypoallergenic Sunscreen
    Allergists suggest using a hypoallergenic product to avoid absorbing chemicals into your skin that can potentially create an inflammatory reaction. So before you slather on the sunscreen, be sure to double-check the label on your lotion to protect yourself from allergens. Certain sunscreens may contain chemicals like fragrances or parabens, a type of chemical preservative, which can irritate your skin.
  • mold-on-wall
    6. Mold
    According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, mold can be bothersome to allergy sufferers throughout the year, but it can also trigger summer allergies when there’s a peak in certain types of mold spores starting late in the season. People with mold allergies should avoid being outdoors when mold counts are high, especially on humid days. And to prevent indoor mold, take steps to get rid of any moisture or dampness. Repair leaks and use a dehumidifier.
  • Close-Up Of Honey Bee Pollinating On White Flowers
    7. Insect Stings
    Be wary of insects and bees while enjoying the summer scenery. For some people, this group of summer allergens could lead to a severe life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.  Bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are most active during the late summer and early fall. Fire ants are another threat. Some tips to take the sting out of summer bug bites:  avoid walking barefoot in areas where insects may be present, be careful drinking from open cans or eating uncovered food where bees and insects may also be enjoying your meal, and apply bug repellant to clothing and exposed skin.
  • Portrait of beautiful Golden Retriever
    8. Dog Fur
    Sometimes man’s best friend can become his enemy if he’s carrying allergens on his fur. When playing with your pup, remember he may have just been rolling in the grass or running through the bushes, carrying allergens or bugs that may trigger your allergies. Be sure to give your dog frequent baths and wash your hands after petting him. Also try to keep him off your couch and outlaw the bedroom so as not to come into prolonged contact with any allergens Fido may be carrying.
  • Broom dust and fur ball on parquet floor
    9. Dust Mites
    Dust mites reportedly love warm, humid conditions. Summer homes that have been vacant all winter can become heavily infested with dust and house mites. This can create a greater problem for people already allergic to mites. Some experts recommend keeping the house humidity below 50 percent and using dehumidifiers. They also suggest using dust mite mattress covers, replacing older pillows, and washing bedding in hot water every week.
  • allergy test
    Avoid exposure to allergens.
    Other ways to help keep allergies at bay this summer: wash sheets regularly and schedule your outdoor activities during times the allergens are not at their peak. If you’re traveling, look to see when certain allergens peak where you’ll be vacationing. Try using a nasal wash to help flush out allergens you may have been exposed to during the day. Also, see an allergist who can help you identify what you are allergic to and discuss treatment protocols to help ease your symptoms.
9 Top Summer Allergens

About The Author

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Last Review Date: 2021 Aug 21
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.