What are summer allergies?
Runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes and nose. These are just some of the most common symptoms of allergies. While allergies are quite common in spring, many of the causes of allergies also thrive in summer when the weather is very warm, and allergy symptoms may even worsen.
Similar to spring, the biggest summer allergy is pollen. Pollen can trigger runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms. With higher pollen counts in summer, these symptoms tend to worsen.
Summer air pollution can also make common allergy symptoms worse. One of the most common pollutants during summer is ozone, which is created in the atmosphere by a combination of sunlight, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons from burning fuel. The stronger sunlight and calmer winds during summer can create clouds of ozone, or photochemical smog, around urban areas.
Indoor humidity also tends to increase during summer. Areas that are prone to dampness, such as basements and bathrooms, attract insects and mould. Mould spores, especially can cause problems for allergy sufferers.
Perhaps the most dreaded summer visitors are dust mites. These microscopic insects thrive in warm, humid temperatures and peak during summer. They love beds, fabric and carpets, and their residue can get into the air and trigger allergy symptoms.
How to beat summer allergies
Clean the air in your home
Ensure the air in your home is clean to begin with. Buy a high quality air purifier and avoid those that emit ozone as these can be detrimental to health. Choose air purifiers that are effective in removing germs, dust, and pollutants from the air. Our Ionmax air purifiers, for example, have zero ozone emission and removes 99% of bacteria, 80% dust and 40% of bad odours.
If mould, mildew or dust mites are the cause of your allergies, then getting an efficient dehumidifier will help. Desiccant dehumidifiers such as the Ionmax ION612 dehumidifier are very efficient, silent, and CFC-free, ideal for daily home use.
Check your air filters
Air conditioners and air purifiers can trap a lot of particles such as pollen, smoke, dust, and pet dander, but if you don’t change or clean them regularly, it also means that you are recirculating these pollutants into your indoor air. Check that the air filters used by these appliances are changed or cleaned regularly to keep the air in your home clean.
Ventilate the air in your home
Poor indoor air circulation leads to a build-up of dust, VOCs, and other compounds emitted by furniture, cleaning solutions and other household products. When it’s not too hot, it’s a good idea to leave the windows open and let some fresh air in. This lets fresh, cooling air in and is also more energy-efficient than leaving your air conditioner switched on all the time.
Dust, pollen and other allergy-causing particles can settle in carpets and on surfaces. Vacuum your carpets often, preferably using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, or damp-mop hardwood and tile floors regularly to remove these particles trapped in your carpets and on your floors. Clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where dust and pollen can collect, and wash bedding and rugs in hot water to eliminate dust mites and other allergens.
Spring and summer are prime times to control any pest problems you have at home. Instead of using the regular can of insect repellent, opt for natural or non-toxic products as chemicals in insect repellents have been found to trigger nausea, headaches, and asthma attacks. The best thing to do is also to prevent pest problems, such as closing cracks where bugs enter, keeping trash bins tightly closed, and storing food in airtight containers or in the pantry.
Allergies cannot be fully cured, but their symptoms can be effectively managed using the steps above and the proper medication. Most importantly, the key is to always ensure that the air in your home or office is kept clean and free of dust, pollen, and other pollutants by cleaning regularly, ventilating your home properly, and using air purifiers or dehumidifiers if needed.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.