Most of us love this time of year, as the summer months bring longer days and warmer weather. We get outside more - exciting days out, gardening, bistro-style dining and long country walks. Unfortunately, this time of year can bring unwanted effects for those of us suffering from hay fever and allergies to animal fur, particular food groups, insects, and skin irritants - which are all worsened by high pollen counts.
Types of summer allergies
The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology say that allergies are among the most common of chronic conditions worldwide and it's estimated that 21 million of us in the UK suffer from at least one allergy. Let's have a look at the different types of summer allergies, how to tackle them, and how the Evergreen Life app can help you take back control.
Hay fever getting under your nose?
During early spring, trees are the typical culprit for pollen-induced sneezing and sniffling. Summer hay fever is usually caused by grasses and weeds. You might get hay fever symptoms like itchy eyes, nose and mouth, a blocked nose, frequent sneezing or coughing. You could even get something called allergic shiners which are characterised by swollen, blue-coloured skin underneath the eyes.
If you suffer from hay fever, you can check the UK pollen forecast to help keep your symptoms at bay. When the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors as much possible. As a rule, 10am-4pm is peak pollen time, but some days can be worse than others. Rain can help to clear away the pollen from the air, so take advantage and get outside after a summer downpour! But if you do need to be outside during a high-pollen day, just take precautions like dabbing petroleum jelly around your nostrils - even a mask when gardening can help to trap the pollen from entering into your airways.
Summer air pollution
Smog and air pollution can be particularly bad during the summer and it can make your allergy symptoms worse. Ozone is what might aggravate your breathing and congestion symptoms. It's created in our atmosphere from a mixture of sunlight and the chemicals found in car exhaust fumes. It's much worse on a sunny day when there's no wind, as this can form clouds of ozone in some cities. If you're concerned air pollution is making your allergy symptoms worse, you can check the pollution forecast for the UK.
Mould and mites
Damp and humid areas are a breeding ground for mould. The spores get released into the air and this sets off an allergic reaction that's similar to hay fever. On top of this, microscopic insects called dust mites peak during the summer months. You might find them in warm and humid places like beds, carpets.
Insects that sting
When you're basking in the sun enjoying some al fresco dining, you might be familiar with pesky insects wanting to share your picnic with you! Or maybe you're just walking in the park and there's a swarm of buzzing insects surrounding you. Most insects are harmless to us, but others can bite or sting: bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants are all little critters that could cause allergic reactions when they nip your skin.
Insect reactions can be mild, like itching and swelling around the area. However, sometimes a severe insect allergy can lead to a life-threatening situation. You might feel as if your throat is going to close shut, like you're breathing through a plastic straw. This can also cause dizziness, nausea and shock. Your tongue can swell up, making it even harder to take a breath. This is an emergency, requiring urgent medical attention. Call 999 and get to A&E.
Take control of your summer allergies
Chances are if you do have an allergy, you’re somewhat of an expert in the treatment and management of it. You know how severe your allergy is, what to do in an emergency, which anti-histamines or medications best help, as well as being used to carrying an allergy card tucked away in your purse or wallet.
You’ve got all this important information, but shouldn’t it all be kept in the same place? Here's where Evergreen Life comes in...
The Evergreen Life app
The Evergreen Life Personal Health Record app allows you to quickly and conveniently record your seasonal allergies and share them with health providers at any point of care at home and abroad. With the app, you can also book appointments at your GP to discuss your allergies and order repeat prescriptions that help manage your allergic reactions.
With the Evergreen Life Allergy Record you can:
- Keep a record of your allergies and your symptoms
- Record the severity of that particular allergy
- Enter any medications, and set reminders if taken regularly in a medication diary
- Scan in your allergy cards and various health documents
- Share all this important information with your loved ones and trusted healthcare providers
So, why not take control of your allergies this summer as well as the rest of your important health information? Find out more about what the Evergreen Life app can do for you…