Expert Health Articles

Red, White and Ah-choo? Not this Year

Steer clear of asthma and allergy triggers this summer.

With the summer around the corner, loads of people get out and enjoy the outdoor fun. You and your family have big summer plans: fireworks, picnics and swimming. Now you just need to make sure that no one ends up red (itchy rashes), white (a box full of tissues), or blue (coughing or an asthma attack) for the wrong reasons. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared, so allergies and asthma don’t overshadow the festivities.

Splish splash – Summer means getting in the water, but some people fear a chlorine allergy. While chlorine isn’t actually an allergen, it can be irritating, causing eye and nose itching. Usually, washing the affected area with clean water removes the irritant, although sometimes, a steroid cream may need to be prescribed.

Fly the flag, but steer clear of smoke. – Fireworks, campfires and asthma don’t mix. Smoke can cause asthma symptoms to flare, and allergists recommend keeping your distance from both campfires and fireworks. If you are near a campfire, sit upwind if possible. Always carry your reliever inhaler.

Some like it hot. Some don’t. – You’ve been looking forward to the hot weather, but sudden changes in temperature can trigger an asthma attack. Going inside a cold air-conditioned building or jumping into cold water could be a trigger. Consider indoor exercise and other activities on hot, high pollen and humid days, and watch out for “ozone alert” days. Freshly mowed grass and dry, dusty sports fields can result in high mold exposure.

While you are making plans for this summer, keep in mind there are many ways to enjoy the outdoors and stay well. If you think you have allergies or asthma, see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can provide you with quality care in person or through a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) secure Telehealth/virtual visit. They can evaluate, diagnose and treat allergies and asthma so that symptoms don’t take away from the summer fun.

If you think you might be one of the more than 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies and asthma, don’t delay your care. Find an allergist in your area who can help.


Maria Slack, MD

Allergy & Immunology

Allergy & Immunology Specialists of Northwest Ohio