Steer Clear of these Late Summer Allergy Triggers
The month of August typically brings an increase in the heat index, and lately we’ve seen chart-topping temps – which can also mean allergy triggers in several forms.
Pollens vary from region to region. While the Spring season brings grass pollen to allergy-sufferers, it is often weed pollen and particularly ragweed that triggers allergies in late Summer, July-August. About 75% of Americans who have plant allergies are sensitive to ragweed, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The best way for those affected by a pollen allergy also known as “hay fever” is to limit outdoor exposure when the pollen count is high. Circulating air, keeping windows and doors closed and changing clothing before bed will help to reduce symptoms.
In the Spring and Summer months, people spend a great deal of time picnicking and playing in the great outdoors. While pollen is the most common plant trigger, there are many grasses and plants that are also culprits for an allergy including timothy, blue, and orchard grasses. In the summer, when mowing grasses is common, you’re picking up pollen from the grass clippings as well as mold.
Many varieties of trees including oak, elm and maple trees such as ash leaf, red, silver and sugar are also know to trigger reactions that typically peak in the early spring but can carry through to summer depending on your location.
Certain types of mold spores often peak in the late summer months due to an increase in humidity, moisture and mildew. Mold thrives in damp environments.
When mold spores are inhaled, your immune system triggers symptoms such as sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion or itchy nose, mouth and lips. Mold can also trigger asthma and other more serious respiratory issues, so it is recommended that the source of mold be located and remediated promptly.
People with asthma are particularly affected when rising summer temperature brings dry, hot air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says climate change is increasing “ground-level,” or bad, ozone, contributing to what we typically see as “smog” or haze. It is common in the summer when there is more sunlight and low winds.
Young children, adults active outdoors, animals, and the elderly are at the greatest risk for health problems during a high heat index. To stay safe, outdoor activities should be limited to early morning or evening and people should stay tuned to air quality alerts.
If you believe your home has been impacted by mold, it is important to contact a professional.
Stock Environmental is an environmental consulting firm servicing all of New Jersey and New York. If you have questions, or would like to schedule an inspection, give us a call at 732-383-5190 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.