Most people can’t wait for the gorgeous days that summer has to offer. Except you. You love the brighter and longer days, but you know you have to survive all the pollen and other irritants that occur, too.
You may know it as seasonal allergies, hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. Even if you’re not familiar with the other names, you’re all too familiar with the suffering:
- Itchy, watery, and puffy eyes
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Hives and rashes
What causes summer asthma?
While you can have allergies throughout the year, summer asthma is an extreme allergic reaction to the pollen that’s around during the season, and it may be aggravated by the heat.
Your body’s immune system naturally guards against harmful things like viruses, bacteria, and germs. An allergic reaction is when your body reacts to a harmless substance, such as pollen. Once your body treats pollen as a harmful substance, your immune system creates antibodies to fight it and releases histamine, which boosts blood flow in the affected areas and triggers other defensive measures like inflammation, mucous production, and tears.
Extreme allergic reactions can trigger asthma attacks. Asthma occurs when your airways narrow, swell, or produce extra mucus, which makes it harder or — in extreme cases — impossible to breathe.
Things you can do to prevent summer asthma flare-ups
An asthmatic reaction can range from being a nuisance to being life-threatening, so it’s good to know how you can reduce the risk of triggering summer asthma flare-ups.
This doesn’t mean you have to wear a hazmat suit or stay permanently indoors. Try not to be outside during the hottest part of the day and when the air quality is poor, however, and avoid the smoke of campfires.
Wearing a face mask and hat during high pollen count days helps keep pollen out of your nose and mouth and from collecting in your hair. If you have pets, wipe them down with a damp towel before letting them back inside.
Take over-the-counter medication
Antihistamines go a long way to minimizing extreme reactions. Nasal sprays can also help flush out pollen and other irritants.
Get an air purifier
Air purifiers with HEPA filters are great for ridding your home of allergens. You also can install high-quality air conditioner filters that trap ultra-fine particles.
When to go to an emergency room
Despite your best efforts to minimize your allergic reactions, summer asthma flare-ups can still occur. If you’re caught off guard, it can be extremely dangerous.
If you have any sort of respiratory issue, get medical assistance immediately. Go to the closest emergency department or emergency room if you experience:
- Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing
- No improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler
- Shortness of breath when doing minimal physical activity
An ER can diagnose asthma attacks and treat them with strong and fast-acting medication you might not normally have in your medicine cabinet or first-aid kit. These can include:
- Short-acting bronchodilators
- Inhalable corticosteroids
- Oral corticosteroids
At ER Near Me, we respond immediately to any patient struggling with a respiratory issue, including asthma brought on by allergies. We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we accept walk-ins. You can also call ahead at 469-409-5254 (Dallas) or 817-609-4802 (Fort Worth).