For some people, the Summer is the best season to relax outside and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. However, Summer can also be a season for allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergies), asthma, bee stings, tick bites, mosquito bites, sunburns, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. As Summer is the best time of the year for many, still others find it a trying time in regards to their allergies. If you suffer from allergy problems during the summer months, you may want to contact a board certified Washington, DC allergist, or an allergist in the Washington, DC metro area.
How Do I Know if I Have Summer Allergic Rhinitis and/or Asthma?
There are a variety of symptoms associated with allergies that are common in the Summer. Many individuals have allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and/or allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergies) symptoms which may be confused with the common cold. A “cold” is caused by a virus and usually lasts 1 week or less. If the symptoms last more than 1 week, you should think of allergies as a cause. Some of the more common allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and asthma symptoms are listed below:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Post-nasal drip
- Sore throat
- Itchy eyes, ears, nose, and/or throat
- Decreased sense of taste and/or smell
- Watery eyes
- Redness of the eyes
- Puffiness of the eyes
- Sinus pain and/or pressure
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
What Allergies Can Cause Hay Fever and/or Asthma in the Summer?
In the early Summer, grass pollen is the main culprit regarding pollen allergies. During some years when there is a cold and delayed Winter, the tree pollen begins late and in some cases may last through the early Summer as well. In Washington, DC, ragweed pollen begins to pollinate in mid-August and lasts until the first frost which is usually at the end of October. Needless to say, dust mites, molds, pets, and cockroaches are allergens that are present throughout the year and also play a large role in causing Summer allergies. Of note, Washington, DC was built on a swamp, so there is always a lot of mold in the air, particularly in our hot humid Summers. In addition to the pollens, dust mites, molds, pets, and cockroaches, many asthmatics are also prone to asthma exacerbations with heat, humidity, and/or exercise. Thus, the Summers in Washington, DC are also very conducive to cause asthma flare-ups.
What are the Benefits of Seeing an Allergist?
Allergists and Immunologists are trained medical doctors, with the credentials, experience, and expertise to help you determine the real causes of many of your health problems. Your Washington, DC allergist can help you determine if your symptoms are a result of allergies. A qualified board certified allergist and immunologist can also work with you to provide meaningful treatment options that will help you significantly improve your health and quality of life. You do not have to suffer through debilitating allergy or asthma symptoms any longer. So many individuals suffer from allergies for years before seeking help from an allergist. When they finally seek help, they are usually stunned to see such improvement in their symptoms that they frequently comment that they should have seen an allergist “years ago.” Often, a spouse or friend coaxes an individual to see an allergist and that individual after treatment by an allergist admits that they did not think that they felt that bad until after being treated. A common statement by the patient might be, “I didn’t realize my nose was that stuffy until I began this medication and I can breathe through my nose great now.”
Other Allergies in the Summer
Besides allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergies), and asthma, there are other allergy-related problems that are more common in the Summer in the Washington, DC metro area. Some of these include insect sting allergies (i.e., bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets), mosquito bites, sunburns, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
We will not delve into these topics in this discussion, but one needs to know that they are at greater risk for these conditions during the Summer.
What to do Next
If you suffer from any of the above allergy, sinus, or asthma symptoms or you are concerned that you may have an insect sting allergy, the board certified allergists of Black & Kletz Allergy would be happy to help you with your allergy needs. We have been helping residents of the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland metropolitan area for over 50 years. Our offices are located in Washington, DC, McLean, VA (Tyson’s Corner, VA), and Manassas, VA and we offer on-site parking at each location. The Washington, DC and McLean offices are Metro accessible and there is a free shuttle between the McLean office and the Spring Hill metro station on the silver line. Black & Kletz Allergy treats both pediatric and adult patients. If you would like a consultation with one of our allergists, please call us or alternatively, click Request an Appointment and we will respond within 24 hours on the next business day.