Summer is a wonderful time for getting fresh air, but many need a little special care to keep annoying allergies at bay. While allergies can occur at any time of the year, spring and summer are often seasons accompanied by especially fierce sneezes, rashes, sore throats, and other allergy-related complications.
In order to enjoy the summer season a bit more and cough or scratch a bit less, try to follow these tips.
- Choose your sunscreen wisely. It’s clearly important to use sunscreen in order to avoid burning when spending time outdoors, but not all sunscreens are created equal. Some sunscreens contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions themselves. The best bet is to choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and to check the ingredients list for any chemicals to which you know your loved one is allergic. Also, try to apply the sunscreen several minutes in advance of going outside so that it has a chance to dry; on high pollen days, wet sunscreen may trap pollen on the skin.
- Pick your flowers carefully. When planning a garden, concentrate on those plants and flowers that are “allergy-friendly,” meaning those that rely on insects for pollination rather than on the wind blowing pollen from one plant to another. The workers at a garden supply shop can help you to identify these plants.
- Avoid wood chips. Wood chips and mulch are very popular ground covers in gardens and yards, but they’re not always the most allergy-friendly options: they tend to trap water, which can in turn set up a situation for mold to thrive. Better options are gravel or oyster shell.
- Change outfits. After coming indoors, especially on a heavy pollen day, change into clean clothes. If possible, shower or at least sponge off any portions of skin which were exposed to remove any pollen that has attached itself.
- Swap late afternoon for early morning. During very hot days, take special care to avoid the midday heat and to go out early in the morning or late in the afternoon; on heavy pollen days, opt for the afternoon, as pollen levels tend to be at their highest before 8:00 in the morning.
- Treat yourself to some local honey. This may seem odd, but eating honey that was created by bees in a person’s local area may help to inure him or her to the effects of pollen. The honey will contain small amounts of pollen spores, so eating it in honey may help one develop a resistance to the local pollen – much the same way that getting vaccinated with a small amount of a weakened form of a disease helps the body develop antibodies to fight the disease.
For many, allergies can seriously impact their quality of life, so taking a little extra special care to fight them can make a substantial difference. Check with a doctor or allergist for more helpful suggestions.