Asthma NZ - Allergies & Asthma in Summer

Allergies & Asthma in Summer

The end of winter has come, and Summer is here! Whist the warmer weather is welcomed by most, the flowers, weeds, trees, and grass bloom releasing pollen into the air, which can cause trouble for those with allergies and asthma. When you are allergic to pollen, your immune system reacts with symptoms in the nose (sneezing, congestions, runny nose), throat (itchy), eyes (watery), sinuses, ears, lungs, skin, and lining of the stomach. If you suffer from allergic asthma, then symptoms may flare with high pollen counts. Air pollution as well as temperature changes can also trigger these symptoms.

Tips for managing symptoms in Summertime:

Manage your symptoms with an Allergy and/or Asthma Care Plan. This may include the use of:

  • Antihistamine sprays and/or tablets
  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays
  • Nasal saline sprays/rinse to help flush out inhaled pollen
  • In severe cases consider immunotherapy (allergy injections and or tablets)
  • If asthmatic; take your Preventer or combination inhaler as prescribed and use a Peak Flow Meter to measure and manage your symptoms
  • If not aware of allergies, ask your doctor about Skin Prick Testing/blood testing

Plan for outdoors:

  • Check the daily pollen forecast at or similar sites
  • Pollen counts are highest in the morning and reduce after 12noon, but can remain high on warm, breezy days
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Remove shoes before entering house
  • Shower or change clothes after outdoor activity
  • Don’t dry washing outside
  • Clean pollen off pets who come indoors
  • Wash bedding in hot water and tumble dry where possible
  • Exercise indoors on high pollen days.
  • Wear sunglasses and hat
  • Wear mask when gardening of cutting grass
  • Keep car windows closed and use air-conditioner instead
  • Avoid the use of insect repellent or citronella if it is a known asthma trigger.
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