kid sitting in shade during summer
August 31, 2018
Allergies

Is the summer heat making your allergies worse?

Most of us usually think summer is a time for clear breathing and fun in the sun, but that may not actually be the case. The summer heat can actually make allergies worse than usual.

Heat promotes plant growth which means more pollen

Many plants pollinate based on environmental triggers which is why we have different allergy seasons caused by different plants. Most grasses like to pollinate during the heat, which is why summer is when grass allergies are at their worst. Add in the constant mowing of lawns and summer breezes, and grass pollen easily gets into the air we breathe.

With summer heat comes summer bugs

And by summer bugs, we’re mostly talking about cockroaches. Out of all the non-plant or mold allergies that we test for, cockroach is one of the most common that people are allergic to. So, you can put that on the already expansive list on why cockroaches are the worst.

Cockroaches are always around in Texas, but summer is when they become the most bold and abundant. The feces, saliva, and shedding body parts of cockroaches can all be allergy triggers and these allergens work like most where its spread by getting swept up in the air. Luckily, decreasing the effects of cockroach allergy is the same as decreasing the number of cockroaches in your house. Keep it clean, keep food in containers, and fix leaks to water and areas where cockroaches will flock.

Heat pushes us to wet, humid areas

What’s one of the best ways to spend a hot summer day? Being in the water. Texas has tons of natural water and swimming holes, waterparks are around every corner, and you also have your neighborhood or backyard pool to go hang out. If there’s one allergen that likes water more than cockroaches, it’s mold.

When we go to these constantly damp and humid areas, we’re exposing ourselves to more outside mold than we usually encounter. Mold allergies, along with dust, are one of the most common but unrecognized allergies for the general public. When you’re going out to the water in the summer heat, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared with an antihistamine to combat your allergic symptoms.

Speaking of mold, it’s not just affecting us outdoors – it’s also affecting us in our homes.

Heat moves us inside

Sometimes you look at your weather app and see 3 digits depicting the current temperature for the day. A lot of us take that as a good excuse to have a lazy day inside. And trust me, there’s nothing wrong with doing that! However, when we’re staying inside for longer periods of time in the summer, we’re exposing ourselves to indoor allergens and this is even true for all the neat freaks out there. An estimated 70% of homes have mold behind their walls. For some, a little mold can be fine and not really influence your health or breathing, but mold allergies are extremely common and a lot of times that means our indoor air quality may be worse than the outdoors.

And mold isn’t the only allergen causing the sniffles inside your house, dust mites are just as big of a factor. Dust mites and mold are year-round allergens with serious effects on your health. Dust mites also like to spend most of their time where you are (hopefully) spending 8 hours every day -- your bed.

Dust can be much more manageable than mold because it’s not hiding behind the wall, but if you have children, pets, roommates, or anyone sharing your space with you, that manageability becomes less and less realistic.

Handling allergies increased by summer heat

The point of this blog isn’t to scare you, but to prepare you. Too many people spend their summers sniffling and sneezing while blaming it on a cold or illness, when it’s something as simple as allergies.

Think about this summer and if you felt under the weather. If it was pretty consistent, maybe you shouldn’t blame it on sharing some chips and queso with a friend, and instead take control of your allergies.