The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) is the largest professional medical specialty organization in the United States representing more than 6,000 allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease.
Here, the AAAAI offers tips on how to enjoy your summer outdoors with allergies and asthma.
Summer kicks off the start of camping season for kids and families everywhere. Before heading outdoors for your camping trip this summer, follow these tips to avoid allergy and asthma 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.
- Bring along allergy and/or asthma medication, so you're 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 those items.
- Check out your camp site for ragweed, poison oak or poison ivy and other plants that may cause allergic reactions. Bring ointments and medications just in case.
- When building a fire, make sure that people who suffer from 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 more by bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets or fire ants. Most people will experience temporary redness, swelling and itching at the site of the sting, but those with allergic reactions will see severe reactions.
Follow these tips to avoid stinging insects:
- Keep away. 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.
- Do not "swat" at flying, stinging insects.
- 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.
Follow these tips to help control exercise-induced asthma.
- Always warm up before your workout - light jogging and stretching before you start is a good way to do this.
- Always cool down after working out - easy walking and stretching after your activity helps return your body temperature, respiration and heart rate back to normal levels.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take breaks during exercising
- Always bring your inhaler with you
- Try not to exercise outside when pollen counts are high, this could aggravate your asthma.
For more information on pollen counts, allergies and asthma and tips and recommendations from professionals, check out www.aaaai.org.