Summer Allergic Reactions
Many people think of spring as the time for allergies, but there are actually a number of irritants that can cause seasonal allergies or allergic reactions in the summer. Our health expert, Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares her advice for keeping summer allergies at bay.
What causes allergies or allergic reactions in the summer?
Nurse Rose: There are a number of plant, insect and food-based irritants that can cause summer allergies including:
- Summer pollen from grass or ragweed
- Bugs that are more active like bees, wasps and yellow jackets
- Mold, which can breed in hot weather
- Sunscreen and poison ivy causing skin irritation
- Seasonal fruit like melon, apples, peaches and prunes
What can people with seasonal summer allergies due to treat this problem?
Nurse Rose: While encountering some allergens like pollen is unavoidable, there are some simple remedies and precautions you can take to better control your allergies.
- See your doctor
- Take allergy medications as recommended by doctor
- Avoid using a fan
- Keep windows closed when possible
- Wash hair when you get home to remove excess pollen
What are some tips to avoid bug bites or stings that may cause a reaction?
Nurse Rose: You can take these precautions to avoid bug stings:
- Keep food covered outdoors
- Do not walk barefoot outside
- Do not drink from beverage cans that have been left open
- Avoid wearing anything that smells sweet
- If you know you are allergic to bug bites or stings, always carry your Epi-Pen
What should you do if stung by a jelly fish?
Nurse Rose: Follow these simple tips if you or a family member is stung by a jelly fish:
- Remove the stingers and rinse the skin – do not rinse with fresh water or rub the area with the towel
- Rinse with vinegar for about 30 seconds or apply baking soda and water.
- Take a hot shower or apply ice packs to ease pain
- Take a pain reliever and apply calamine lotion to relieve discomfort
As always, if you notice signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, itching or swelling of the mouth, vomiting or passing out – call 911 immediately.
Rose Melendez, RN
Head of Emergency Department
Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital.
Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.