It’s no secret that summer = outdoor fun! Whether you are having BBQs or taking trips, lots of people are going to be spending more time outside. While outdoor activities can be one of the best parts of summer, being outside for some can also induce some serious allergies. Here are a few tips for managing your allergies during outdoor events this summer.
- Stay away from smoke.
Many people have fond summer memories of sitting around a campfire with friends and family. With BBQ season in full swing, you might host or be a guest at fun summer meals that feature grills and barbecues. While grills, fire pits, and bonfires can be a great part of the summer, the drawback is that smoke and fumes can trigger asthma.
If you have asthma or allergies, it is best to avoid smoke and fumes from grills or fire pits when possible. If you are hosting, consider cooking your food indoors, or if you use a grill, place it away from where people gather outdoors. If you are a guest, try to stay out of the path of smoke and fumes.
- Beware of fireworks.
Fireworks are an integral part of summer celebrations, especially for Independence Day. Unfortunately, fireworks can produce smoke, as well as small particulate matter. Both of these can contribute to air pollution and trigger asthma.
Consider watching fireworks from a greater distance to keep yourself away from the smoke and particulate matter. You may even want to watch them from indoors if you can find a window with a good view.
- Check pollen counts.
Many people who experience seasonal summer allergies are allergic to grass pollen. In the northern United States, grasses usually release pollen from late spring to early summer. In southern regions, on the other hand, grasses can release pollen throughout many seasons, which can trigger allergies at almost any time of the year. During late summer and early fall, you may also have to deal with ragweed pollen.
If you are allergic to pollen, be sure to check the pollen count on days when you might be outside. If possible, spend more time indoors (with the windows closed) on days with high pollen counts. If you need to be outside, consider wearing a mask to limit allergens entering your nose, throat, and lungs.
- Avoid scented products.
If you are allergic to scented products or have asthma, summer can be a difficult time. At outdoor summer events, you may encounter:
- Scented candles
- Bug repellent candles and products
- Scented oil in tiki torches
- Odor-masking or -eliminating fragrances and air fresheners
- Cologne or perfume on other guests at summer gatherings
The best way to avoid asthma or allergies from scented products is to simply stay away from them. Whenever possible, keep a distance from scented products. Staying on the outside of a crowd can help to limit your exposure to other people’s perfumes and colognes. When you go indoors, it may be helpful to wear a mask to limit your exposure to scented products.
- Watch out for insects.
If you are allergic to insect bites, outdoor summer events can be downright dangerous! While a bee sting or ant bite might seem minor to most people, it can be life-threatening to those with allergies. The most common insects that cause allergic reactions are bees, hornets, wasps, fire ants, and yellow jackets. Thankfully, it is rare to have allergic reactions to other biting insects like mosquitoes.
If you know that you are allergic to insect bites or stings, be sure to keep your epinephrine auto-injector with you—particularly when spending time outdoors during the summer.
With these 5 easy tips, you are ready to take on summer events! For more information about how you can manage your allergies during the summer, please contact us today at West River ENT & Allergy.