Though allergies are typically associated with spring and fall because of high pollen counts, there are some allergies that are worse in the summer. From grass pollen to ragweed to mold, find out the causes of summer allergies and how to find relief with a few lifestyle adjustments and remedies.Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.
Allergies That Are Worse in the SummerSummer allergies occur when our immune system overreacts to a harmless substance like pollen by producing antibodies to protect itself.1 In the summer months, triggers typically include the following:
- Outdoor molds
- Grass pollen
- Insect stings
- Ragweed allergies (typically in late summer, early fall)
- Dust and pet dander are also common allergy triggers any time of year
Summer Allergy SymptomsSummer allergy symptoms aren’t just limited to the sneezing and watery eyes of typical hay fever. According to allergist Michael Foggs, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), “Black eyes, lines across the nose and other cosmetic symptoms” can also occur.2 And if your summer allergies are triggered by insect stings, you can add swelling and itchy skin to the roster too. Here are some summer allergy symptoms to look out for:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Nasal creases
- Mouth breathing
- Sore, scratchy throat and coughing due to post-nasal drip
- Localized pain, swelling, and itching around insect bites
Summer Cold vs. Summer AllergiesSummer allergies can sometimes get confused with summer colds because of nasal congestion or when post-nasal drip leads to coughing and sore throat. Some people may even think they’ve contracted COVID-19, though allergies will not cause a fever, a crucial difference. It’s important to note that while a cold may occur a few times a year, allergies recur seasonally based on your unique triggers. This is why keeping track of your triggers and when allergy symptoms occur is a key determinant of whether or not you’re an allergy sufferer or you simply have a cold.
Fight off and recover quickly from colds, flus, coughs and allergies in the healthiest, cleanest way possible.
Tips to Minimize Reactions & Find ReliefThere are a variety of summer allergy remedies and actions you can take to minimize your reactions to triggers. These include:
- Tracking pollen counts
- Keeping doors and windows closed to reduce the amount of pollen and mold that enters your home
- Using air filters
- Minimizing the use of drapes and carpets and washing bedding frequently
- Showering and changing clothes when you come home
- Reducing household humidity
- Trying a medication for allergy relief
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