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Achoo! Summer allergies can make us feel groggy, with sneezing and itchy eyes. Is summer worse than any other time of year? Not really – the things that make us sneeze or itch are just different for each season. These symptoms are your body’s reaction to a foreign substance called an allergen.

We often hear of more severe reactions with hives, breathing problems, low blood pressure and even death. Signs of a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, does require a 911 call when the symptoms first show up. This often happens with bee stings or severe food allergies, but mild reactions to everyday allergens in our environment are more common.

Paying attention to your environment can help determine what is setting off your allergy symptoms, and then allows you to see what you can do to reduce your exposure. Some recommendations from allergists are putting HEPA filters into your HVAC system, giving your pet regular baths, washing your pillow frequently and getting a hypoallergenic pillow, washing your bedding weekly, and keeping your house clean to reduce dust mites and molds that can collect through time from living in your home.

You should also look at your exposure to pollens. While the feeling of a cool breeze in your home is nice, it also brings in pollens. You may want to use your home’s cooling system which is filtering the air. Also, it’s wonderful to be able to take a walk and enjoy nature, but you may want to change those clothes and take off your shoes when you arrive home to avoid dragging those pollens you picked up into your house.

While grasses are often the cause of extra sneezing and airway irritation in the spring, in summer the winds are distributing other pollens and molds and then the fall often brings the pollens from weeds. When you have tried everything to reduce your exposure to allergens, and “hay fever” symptoms are still interfering with what you like to do, it may be time to see an allergist for some professional help.

We live in a beautiful state so make sure you are able to enjoy it to the fullest!

Visit the Community Health Center if allergies persist. Call (215) 785-9677 today!