Chances are you have been hearing a lot about allergies these days. One of the reasons is that there are so many people in the United States who are affected by them. In fact, over 50 million people in this country suffer every year from allergies. If you are hoping to enjoy your summer, you'll want to watch out for these three allergens that might try to ruin your fun.
About two million Americans are allergic to insect stings and an estimated 50 people each year die from having a severe allergic reaction to an insect sting. Some of the most common stinging insects that people are allergic to include:
- Fire ants
- Yellow jackets
If you want to protect yourself from these stinging insects, knowing if you are allergic can be your first line of defense. An allergist can perform allergy testing, which may include either a skin test or a blood test to determine what insect stings you might be allergic to.
Most people are well aware that pollen from grass and trees can wreak havoc with their allergies. However, there is another culprit lurking outside in your yard, and that allergen is outdoor mold. Most outdoor molds grow in moist, shady areas. Mold is a type of fungus that produces microscopic spores that spread through the air.
As temperatures rise, so does the number of mold spores in the air. Another factor that can increase the mold count is high humidity. To help combat your mold allergies, your doctor or allergist may recommend allergy shots.
If you are among the 15 million Americans who suffers with a food allergy, you may have to be careful about what food you eat at your neighbor's outdoor barbecue. Many seemingly harmless foods like salad dressings and barbecue sauces have ingredients that you may be allergic to. For example, barbecue sauce may contain common allergens such as soy or tree nuts. Many salad dressings contain gluten, which is another common allergen.
If you're not sure what's in the food that is being served, the best thing you can do is bring your own. If you are concerned you may have food allergies, allergy testing can help pinpoint what foods you may be allergic to.
Whether it's insects, molds, or food, knowing what things you are allergic to will help keep allergic reactions at bay so that you can enjoy your summer. Talk with a local doctor about allergy testing to help identify your problems.