Summer brings more than heat. For some, summer brings allergies too.

The majority of summer allergies are caused by inhaled allergens like pollen and dust, concentrations of which peak in the warmer months. This also coincides with generally more hospitable climate for dust mites that contribute to increased airborne allergens that can be all but impossible to avoid. Many people react differently to different allergens. The most common symptoms include running, congested, itchy sinuses; watering and/or itchy, bloodshot eyes; sneezing and coughing; headaches; and general fatigue.

There is good news for those with summer allergies staying home and self-quarantining as COVID-19 still remains a threat – they might show little to no symptoms because they do not go out. However, here are a few tips for living with summer allergies:

Dust

Summer in Qatar brings a lot of dust with windy dust/sandstorms that can trigger allergies. There’s also smog. Summer air pollution can make your symptoms worse.

Take some simple steps to avoid your triggers.

What to do? Make changes to your home and to your routine:

  • Stay indoors. Keep your home and vehicle windows closed and use the air conditioner. Use an air purifier.
  • Remove wall-to-wall carpets, curtains, and curtains, particularly in the bedroom.
  • Clean air filters in your home often. Also clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where dust collects.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom. Bathe or wipe them down often when they come back in from outside.
  • Minimise household humidity. Keep the relative humidity in your home at less than 50%.
  • Wear a mask when cleaning.
  • Shower, wash your hair and change your clothing after coming in from outside.

Dust mites

Mould loves damp areas, including the basement and bathrooms. The spores get into the air and set off an allergic reaction. Microscopic insects called dust mites peak during summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures and nest in beds, fabrics, and carpets. Their residue can get into the air and set off sneezes, wheezes and runny noses.

What to do?

  • Keep home and vehicle windows closed and use the air conditioner. Use an air purifier.
  • Keep the humidity in your house at between 30% and 50% so dust mites won’t thrive.
  • Use ‘mite-proof’ cases on mattresses and pillows; wash bed linens frequently in hot water.
  • Wear a mask when cleaning.
  • Wash bedding and rugs in hot water to get rid of dust mites and other allergens.

Insect bites

Insect bites usually cause mild symptoms, like itching and swelling around the area. Sometimes they lead to a severe allergic reaction including swelling of the throat or tongue, dizziness, nausea, or going into shock.

What to do?

  • Wear long sleeves, trousers and socks when outdoors, and be careful near outdoor rubbish cans.
  • Keep home and vehicle windows closed and use the air conditioner to keep allergens out. Use an air purifier.

General treatments

Seasonal allergies are often treated by antihistamines, which aid in blocking the body’s over-productive histamine response to a trigger substance. General decongestants, eye drops, and nasal sprays can also help to reduce symptoms. In addition to over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, different variations of allergies can be helped by:

  • Eating local honey
  • Taking probiotics
  • Drinking tea made with natural antihistamines, like nettle leaf
  • Saline rinses and saline nasal sprays
  • Drinking apple cider vinegar

Source: www.webmd.com