Most people equate allergies with springtime. In Iowa, though, some of us can still have allergy symptoms well into summer. Fortunately, even though summer allergies can be miserable, there are ways to minimize the symptoms.
Causes of summer allergies
Many of the same causes of spring allergies in the Des Moines area and across Iowa are also to blame for summer allergies, including pollen (the biggest culprit of them all) from flowers, weeds and grasses. Pollen from ragweed, a type of grass, can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind—affecting allergy sufferers across the country.
However, there are some other factors to take into account that roll in with the new season.
- Smog, an effect of summer air pollution, is worse in the summer due to heightened levels of car exhaust chemicals mixing with sunlight in the ozone layer.
- Insects that sting, like bees and wasps, are most active in the summertime, and as someone with severe allergies, you may want to avoid these guys due to the symptoms that a bite or sting can invoke.
- Mold and dust mites like to grow in warm, wet areas, and summer can be both warm and wet, especially in Iowa, where humidity can run rampant.
Summer allergy symptoms
Are you dealing with summer allergies in the Des Moines area? Let’s check in on your symptoms.
Summer allergies may look like this:
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes and mouth
- Itchy skin
- Stuffy nose
A few less-common symptoms that could also occur are wheeziness, shortness of breath and fatigue caused by lack of sleep.
Summer allergy self-care tips
If you’re tired of dealing with severe allergy symptoms during the Iowa summer, there are some steps you can take to manage them at home.
- Keep your windows closed and avoid hanging your laundry outside, so outdoor allergens stay outdoors.
- Research over-the-counter allergy medications that could help with your day-to-day symptoms.
- Vacuum and dust your home regularly to manage indoor allergies.
- Follow the pollen count in your area to optimally plan times outdoors.
Summer allergy treatment options
There may become a time when your allergies contribute to lower quality of life. When that happens, you may need help to get your symptoms under control.
Iowa ENT Center has multiple options available for individuals who can’t get their summer allergies under control on their own. One of the most popular long-term allergy treatments is immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a process that involves desensitizing an individual to their allergen. This typically requires a series of monthly injections. At Iowa ENT Center, we also offer allergy drops (as in a liquid drop under your tongue) instead of shots!
Before you can undergo immunotherapy, you’ll first undergo allergy testing to pinpoint exactly which allergens are to be used for treatment. Allergy testing takes place on the arm and involves the pressing of multiple allergens into your skin to solicit a reaction.
Once your allergies have been identified, Iowa ENT Center can officially recommend immunotherapy for your summer allergies. Immunotherapy can be administered at Iowa ENT Center’s offices in West Des Moines or Ankeny—or within the comfort of your own home. The team at Iowa ENT Center educates patients on how to administer allergy shots or drops themselves.
Although allergy symptom relief may not be prevalent until after the first year of treatment, it can provide much-wanted relief in the long run.
Make an appointment
If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy the summer weather without feeling under the weather, contact Iowa ENT Center.