For many people, the warm days of summer are a time to enjoy the outdoors and soak up the sun. However, for those with allergies, summer can be a difficult time due to the abundance of pollen in season.
But there's no need to let allergies ruin your summer fun. A little information about allergies in June can help you prepare for the season and enjoy the outdoors without suffering. Read on to learn about June allergies, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What Is Summer Hay Fever?
Summer hay fever is also known as seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis. Seasonal allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances, or allergens, in the environment, especially pollen from grass, trees, and weeds. Your immune system produces antibodies when you come into contact with an allergen.
These antibodies then release chemicals, such as histamine, into your bloodstream. Histamine causes the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies in June?
June marks the start of the summer allergy season. Most grass species like Bermuda, orchard, redtop, and Timothy release pollen during this time of year. If you start experiencing allergy symptoms during June, you likely are allergic to a type of grass pollen.
Pollen is not the only environmental allergen that can trigger an allergic reaction in June. Indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, and pet dander can also cause allergies. So even if you limit your time outdoors during the summer, you're not necessarily safe from experiencing allergies in June.
Grass Pollen Allergies
Grass pollen is a common allergen in the US, and one of the most difficult to avoid. As the weather gets warmer in the summer, different grass species start releasing pollen into the environment. The pollen is light, which makes it easy to travel in the wind.
As a result, you can be exposed to grass pollen even when you don't live near a grassy area. It's also possible to have an allergy due to exposure to grass pollen from a species that you can't find locally.
Here are some of the common types of grasses that can trigger your allergies in June:
- Sweet vernal
If you're not sure which type of grass you're allergic to, you should schedule an allergy test with a reliable allergist to identify what is causing your symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Grass Pollen Allergies?
The symptoms of allergies can vary from person to person and depend on the severity of your allergies. Some people only experience mild allergies, while others have severe allergies that can interfere with their daily activities. The most common symptoms of grass pollen allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose and eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Watery eyes
The symptoms of allergies can also be similar to those of other conditions, such as the common cold. This is why seeing an allergist for a proper diagnosis is essential for finding a treatment plan that will get rid of your symptoms.
How Are Summer Allergies Diagnosed?
If you think you might be experiencing allergy symptoms, it’s important to get tested. Doing so will give you a confirmed diagnosis and help you find long-term allergy relief. Testing can be done through a skin prick test or an at-home allergy test.
Skin Prick Test
When most people think of allergy testing, they think of the skin prick test. A skin prick test involves an allergist pricking or scraping patients' skin with a needle tipped with various allergens.
After scraping the skin, the allergist observes the patient for signs of an allergic reaction, such as itchiness, redness, or swelling. If your body reacts with one or all of these signs, you're likely allergic to that specific substance.
Skin prick testing can be a time-consuming and uncomfortable approach to allergy testing. Identifying an allergist and booking an appointment alone can take several weeks to months. Not only will you have to take this test in person at an allergist’s office, but you’ll have to deal with itchy hives afterward if you end up being allergic to one of the allergens you were exposed to during the test.
At-Home Allergy Test
Unlike skin prick tests, at-home allergy testing kits are more user-friendly and pain-free. Here's how they work:
- Order Wyndly's at-home allergy test online. Our CLIA-certified tests are shipped directly to your doorstep.
- Take the allergy test and send it back to us. It just takes one quick finger prick test to provide a blood sample. Then, you'll mail it back when you're done.
- Receive your personalized treatment plan. Our doctor will interpret your test results, develop an allergy profile, and then meet with you to discuss your personalized treatment plan. An allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way, you know exactly what you're allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
An at-home allergy test is a comfortable, simple solution that gives you an in-depth understanding of your environmental and seasonal allergies.
How to Prepare for Summer Allergy Season?
Once summer is approaching, it's important to take steps to prepare for the upcoming allergy season. Simple habits like showering or cleaning more frequently can go a long way. Adopting such habits will help you to minimize your symptoms and make the most of the warmer months.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep windows closed and use A/C: Pollen travels through the air with ease. Ensure it doesn't float its way into your house by keeping windows closed and running the A/C. You’ll also want to think about equipping your A/C with a HEPA filter to further purify the air inside your home.
- Check pollen count: Before heading outdoors, look at the local pollen count. If it's high, wear a dust mask or sunglasses to protect yourself from exposure.
- Shower after being outside: Pollen can cling to your hair and skin after being outside. To avoid bringing it into your home, take a shower as soon as you come inside.
- Wash your clothes: Because pollen can stay on fabric, it's important to wash your clothes after spending time outside. So, be sure to toss clothes in the wash as soon as you can.
- Take your shoes off when you come inside: Pollen can also accumulate on your shoes. To avoid tracking it throughout your home, take them off as soon as you come inside.
- Wipe pets down: When your pet goes outside, they can be exposed to pollen and bring it back in with them. To avoid spreading it, wipe your pet down with a wet cloth when they come back inside. Giving them more baths during the allergy season can also be helpful.
How to Treat Seasonal Allergies in June?
Limiting exposure can be a great way to limit your chances of experiencing allergies. However, at some point, you will come into contact with your trigger substance. It's important to have an effective treatment plan in place in addition to taking measures to reduce exposure.
Over-the-counter medications are an accessible and affordable way to temporarily manage mild to moderate allergy symptoms.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by temporarily blocking histamine, a chemical that your body releases in response to an allergic trigger. This relieves symptoms like itchiness, sneezing, and a runny nose.
- Eye drops: If you tend to experience red, watery, or itchy eyes with allergies, then eye drops can provide you with short-term relief from these symptoms.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays clear pollen and other allergens from your nasal passages and reduce inflammation. This relieves symptoms like congestion.
If over-the-counter options aren’t working, or you want a long-term solution, sublingual immunotherapy might be right for you.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a type of allergy treatment that results in long-term relief from your symptoms. Sublingual immunotherapy involves placing drops or tablets of an allergen extract under your tongue daily. Over time, your immune system becomes desensitized and you stop reacting when exposed to allergens.
SLIT is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional allergy shots. It's just as effective, less invasive, and can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Take Our Allergy Assessment
Summer allergies are no fun for anyone, but you don’t have to put up with them. If you're looking for a long-term solution, sublingual immunotherapy could be the answer. At Wyndly, our allergy doctors will create a personalized treatment plan to help you beat your allergies.
Take our quick survey today to see how Wyndly can help you live an allergy-free life!