4 Tips to Reduce Sinus and Allergy Symptoms This Summer

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The spring and fall are when people’s sinuses and allergies tend to flare up the most. However, the humid and hot weather during the summer can have a negative impact on your sinuses and allergies as well. Below are four tips you can use to make sure your allergies don’t get the best of you this summer.

1. Avoid Grass and Weed Pollen
By late spring, most trees are done releasing large amounts of pollen into the air. So why are you still suffering from sinus and allergy symptoms brought on by pollen? During the summer, grass and weeds release pollen into the air, and it’s this pollen that typically triggers summer allergies. While the biggest culprit varies by location, here are some plants that are likely to trigger sneezing and watery eyes:

Grasses:
• Bermuda
• Orchard
• Sweet Verna
• Ragweed

Weeds:
• Cockleweed
• Pigweed
• Ragweed
• Sagebrush
• Tumbleweed

In general, ragweed is the one you have to worry about the most in the summer. Ragweed pollen can travel hundreds of miles in the wind, so you can suffer from ragweed-related allergies even when you don’t live directly near it.

2. Watch Out for Fruit
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it may also make your allergies return during the summer. Some of the fruits you like to enjoy are known to cause the same sinus and allergy symptoms as tree and grass pollen, including

• apples,
• bananas,
• peaches, and
• plums.

Still want to enjoy your fruit during the summer? Studies show that microwaving fruit for 10 seconds helps deactivate proteins in the fruit that can trigger allergies. Also, avoid eating the peel whenever possible.

3. Mold and Dust Mites on the Rise
Staying inside all summer long may not be good for your allergies either. It’s no secret that mold loves warm, moist air, which can become trapped in places like the kitchen, bathroom and basement. When the spores from mold get into the air, they set off an allergic reaction and other health-related issues.

Of course, it’s not just mold you have to be on the lookout for. During summer, there’s an increase in microscopic insects known as dust mites because they thrive in humid temperatures, according to St. Louis Sinus Center. Due to their small size, they can easily work their way into your home. Once inside, they like to live in your carpets, beds and other fabrics. The residue that they leave behind is what causes runny noses and sneezing. Worst of all, they could be living with you in your own home!

4. Old Pillow, New Problems
Speaking of dust mites that live in fabric, you may have a lot of other things living inside your pillow. If you’ve had a pillow for more than three years and haven’t washed it, it’s likely a lot heavier now than when you first purchased it. That’s because it’s full of pollen, dust mites, skin cells, hair and more. You can eliminate this problem by buying a zipper pillow protector. Also, always opt to buy hypoallergenic pillows instead of down pillows. If you can’t do either of these things, at least wash your pillow every three months to remove all the buildup, or completely replace your pillow every three years.

The same can be said for your mattress. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to wash your mattress. If it doesn’t have a protective zipper lining, you need to replace it every five years. You may need some help carrying your mattress out since it will be full of your sweat, dead skin cells and dust mites!

By using these four tips, you can reduce your contact with things that trigger your allergies and sinuses. While it’s impossible to completely avoid all of these triggers, you can do your best to control your contact with some of them. If worst comes to worst, you may have to take allergy pills from time to time during the summer.