How to Manage Your Allergies and Asthma this Summer

Jun 01, 2023
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If you have seasonal allergies and asthma, you may dread the warm weather that everyone else welcomes. Along with sunshine and flowers come allergy-inducing pollen and asthma-triggering excess heat. Here’s how to enjoy your summertime this year.

Springtime activity — including pollen release — occurred up to four weeks sooner than normal in the south and northeast this year. While you might appreciate breaking out your shorts and skirts earlier than ever, if you have seasonal allergies or asthma, you’re probably not that keen on having to break out your allergy pills or inhalers earlier, too.

Pollen counts rose up to 21% between 1990 and 2018 across the United States, probably due to climate change. If you have seasonal allergies or asthma, you may dread the summer and its high pollen counts. Keeping track of daily pollen counts is the first step toward staying comfortable this summer, but it’s not enough.

At the Allergy and Asthma Institute, many of the women, men, and children we see at our office in North Atlanta, Georgia, struggle with seasonal allergies, asthma, or both. That’s why our specialist, Lakshmi Reddy, MD, assembled this brief guide to staying comfortable with allergies and asthma this summer.

The link between allergies and asthma

Inflammation is at the root of both seasonal allergies and asthma. With both conditions, your body overreacts to usually benign substances and launches an immune system attack. Instead of attacking pathogens, however, it targets your own tissues.

In fact, a majority of the 25 million women, men, and children in the United States who suffer from asthma have a type of asthma called allergic asthma. The inflammation in an allergic response can also trigger an asthma attack. In fact, controlling your seasonal allergies can help reduce the number of asthma attacks you suffer this summer.

Take your allergy meds preemptively

Don’t wait until you’ve started sniffling and sneezing before turning to your allergy medications. The inflammation in your respiratory system that’s behind your allergy symptoms can also bring on an asthma attack.

Once the pollen counts are high, take your allergy meds as prescribed. By reducing your symptoms, you control your risk for asthma, too.

If you don’t yet have reliable allergy relief, let us know. We can identify your specific seasonal allergens with allergy tests and then customize treatment. 

Stay cool

People with asthma often have a specific form of the respiratory disease called exercise-induced asthma. When their body temperature rises due to high levels of activity, their airways shut down, and they have trouble breathing.

Avoid excessive exercise on hot days. Be sure to stay hydrated and use an ice pack or fan if you become overheated. Keep your asthma inhaler handy, too. In fact, you can even use your inhaler before you exercise, to keep your airways open and free.

Get rid of pollen

Try to control your exposure to pollen by removing as much of it as possible from your life. Adopt new habits to help you stay pollen-free, indoors and out:

  • Use a mask outdoors on high-pollen days
  • Use air purifiers indoors
  • Keep the doors and windows closed
  • Run the AC, and change the filter regularly
  • Vacuum daily
  • Leave your coat and shoes outside
  • Shower and wash your hair nightly

Avoid going outside when the pollen count is high. Early mornings and evenings are safest.

Consider immunotherapy

Immunotherapy — also called allergy shots — reduces or even stops your immune system from overreacting to triggers. Dr. Reddy identifies your specific triggers and then injects your body with a tiny amount of that substance or substances.

Gradually, as your body learns to tolerate the substance, she increases the dose. After successful immunotherapy, you no longer have your allergy or, if you do have symptoms, they’re dramatically reduced. Fewer allergy attacks reduce your asthma attacks, too.

You no longer have to live with an immune system that goes haywire with hay fever. Book a seasonal allergy and asthma consultation today at Allergy and Asthma Institute by phoning our friendly staff at 678-615-7878 or using our online appointment form.