Summer Allergies


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Summer Allergies

October 15, 2014


What kinds of symptoms do people usually have with Summer allergies?

People with summer allergies can have a variety of symptoms. This depends on which part of the body is affected by those allergies. Folks can have symptoms limited to eyes and nose and others will have ear problems, sinus problems or asthma. Other systems involved may include skin or even generalized (total body) reactions.


What is “Hayfever” and how is that related to Summer allergies?

Hayfever is a common term that is used to describe Allergic rhinitis. Patients with this condition will often have runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing and drainage.


What are the Eye problems associated with Summer allergies?

People with ocular allergies often have itchy and watery eyes. Often the eyes will become red or swollen and some patients’ problems will become severe enough that the eye will be “swollen shut”.


Should patients with asthma be concerned about allergies in the Summer?

Patients who have allergic asthma may notice that their asthma is worse during this time. They may notice that asthma control will slip and have increasing symptoms of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.


What causes these allergies?

Many patients with Summer allergies have a sensitivity to pollen. Of course other allergens that are present year-round will also be problematic in the Summer as well. These include some molds, dust mites and pets.


What are some of the pollens of summertime?

In our area of the country, Grasses pollinate in late spring and in to early summer. Trees have been pollinating since early spring but their pollens will sometimes remain present into early summer.


Which grasses pollens do we have around here?

Grasses are divided in to major groups. The Southern pasture grasses such as Bermuda grow well in our area. Because of the location of the Panhandle of Florida, we also have exposure to the Northern Pasture grasses such as Timothy grass. Florida also has some unique grasses such as Bahia and Johnson grass.


How can these allergies be treated?

Avoidance of the indoor allergens is more manageable. For the pollen allergies, it is important to identify your allergies and prepare for the season in which those specific pollens will be in the air. Also, be aware that pollen can travel over a hundred miles, so removing the plants in you yard will not be very effective. There are many medications that are available for treatment as well as Immunotherapy (allergy shots). There is some emerging treatment specifically for grass pollen allergies that will be tablets that can be dissolved under the tongue. These are not yet available in the United States but may become so soon. Talk to your Allergist about what type of treatment is right for you.



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