Douglas Jones, M.D., is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He specializes in the quality care of allergy, asthma and immunologic disorders. Our experienced, friendly staff is committed to help you control symptoms and find lasting results. » MORE INFO
Summer Allergy Tips
Here are some tips for summer survival with allergies & asthma
There's nothing like gooey s'mores around the campfire or canoeing with friends. Before heading outdoors for your camping trip, here are some tips to avoid triggers lurking outdoors and in the wilderness.
- Air out equipment before you leave, look for mold in tents and tarps and wash off any you see with a hot water and bleach solution.
- Take your allergy and/or asthma medication, so you are prepared for any trigger that may cross your path.
- Remember to pack food that is friendly to people with food allergies, check with your group to see what people are allergic to and do not bring that item.
- Check out your campsite for ragweed, poison oak or poison ivy and other plants that may cause allergic reactions. Bring ointments and medications just in case.
- When around the campfire, make sure that people who have asthma sit farther away and out of the wind so the smoke does not irritate their lungs.
Bee-ware of Insects
Summer is also the time of year when people are stung by bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets. Most people will experience temporary redness, swelling and itching at the site of the sting. But for people allergic to stinging insects, their immune systems will overreact to the venom resulting in severe reactions. Follow these tips to avoid stinging insects:
- Stay out of the "territory" of stinging insects' nests.
- Hire a trained exterminator to destroy hives and nests around your home.
- If you encounter flying insects, remain calm and quiet, and move slowly. Don't "swat" them.
- Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing and heavy scented perfume when outdoors.
- Keep all food covered until eaten.
- Insects are attracted to trash containers; keep these areas clean and keep them away from your area of activity.
If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction and have not seen an allergist, you may consider doing so to see if you need to carry injectable epinephrine with you or if allergy shots are appropriate for you. People allergic to venoms have about a 40-60% chance of experiencing a life-threatening reaction when stung. Allergy shots decrease that chance to less than 3%.
Summer is a great time to get outside and bike, swim or run, even for people with asthma. Here are some tips to keep you breathing without wheezing.
- Always warm up before your workout - light jogging and stretching before you start
- Always cool down after working out - easy walking and stretching after your activity
- Try not to exercise outside when pollen counts are high
- Keep hydrated
- Always have your inhaler with you
Whether you are heading to camp for the week or planning a trip to the beach this summer, don't take a vacation from your health or safety. If you have need further guidance or have more questions, an allergist/immunologist can help you enjoy your summer by providing you with an effective management plan for your allergies and asthma.