The sun is finally shining, which can only mean one thing – summer is here. The warmer weather is enough to put anyone in a good mood, but it can also be a source of misery for allergy sufferers.
Milder temperatures bring hay fever, insect bites and other allergies which can make the summer a tough time for those with allergies, while BBQs and summer parties can bring out anxiety for those with food allergies.
The good news is that with some careful planning and a plenty of supplies, you can learn to manage your allergies to make it through the summer season.
Managing your allergies this summer
Hay fever is one of the most common allergies in the UK, with symptoms making their appearance from March right through to September. Hay fever causes a range of symptoms, including a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and headaches – which can all be exasperated if you have asthma too. Hay fever symptoms can be severe or mild. If your symptoms become severe, you can make an appointment with your GP who can recommend treatments and provide medication that could ease your suffering. It’s also worth keeping an eye on hayfever maps to help you pre-empt difficult days.
Another common allergic reaction is due to insect bites. Those without any severe allergies can react to insect bites, because of the body’s natural auto-immune response. This can often cause swelling, itching and pain. To help you reduce your risk of getting an insect bite and to help you manage your allergies through effective self-care, you can:
- Wear insect repellent when you leave the house
- Cover your arms and legs
- Avoid walking in long grass
- Avoid wearing perfumes and beauty products with strong, sweet scents
- Walk away from nests and areas where there might be a high concentration of insects – doing so calmly so as not to disturb them
- Avoid bins and areas where food has been left unattended
- Learn how to treat an insect bite with basic first aid
- Avoid itching or scratching bites
If you’re concerned about an insect bite, you can visit your pharmacist for advice on topical treatments. For severe allergic reactions to an insect bite, make sure you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If you know that you have severe allergies to bee stings and other insect bites, carry your medication with you so that you can be treated quickly in case of an attack.
Food allergies can cause misery during the summer months, especially at BBQs, picnics and weddings. If you’re prepared, you can learn to manage your allergies so that you can have a good time with everyone else and enjoy the summer festivities. Some good tips to follow include:
- Checking menus ahead of time to find out if there are options which cater for your allergies
- Letting hosts know that you have allergies and to make sure you’re catered for
- Bring some of your own food to BBQs or picnics so that you know that you have safe options to eat if you’re in doubt
- Carry allergy medication with you in case of a reaction
- Don’t eat something if you can’t be sure that it doesn’t contain any allergens.
Remember, if you do suffer an attack and need out of hours care, our out of hours services are available during weekends and in the evenings. Everyone should be able to enjoy the summer season, so don’t let your allergies ruin your fun. Be prepared and take precautions to stop your allergies getting in your way this summer.