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Don’t Let Allergies & Asthma Spoil a Summer Soiree

Six Tips to Avoid Allergy and Asthma Symptoms While Enjoying Outdoor Events

Allergy and Asthma image

Summertime means outdoor fun at weddings, festivals, and picnics. But uninvited guests ranging from stinging insects to grass pollen can ruin the fun for people with allergies & asthma.

Allergies and asthma can lead to sneezing, wheezing, and itchiness – and sometimes more serious reactions – turning a joyous occasion sour.

“By planning ahead, people with allergies can still enjoy outdoor events,” says Dr. Myron Zitt, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Here are six simple tips to make summer soirees more enjoyable.

1 Treat before you go.
Take allergy medication before walking out the door. If you wait until symptoms kick in, the medication won’t be nearly as effective.

2 Go undercover.
Big, wrap-around sunglasses help keep pollen from getting into your eyes.

3 Avoid bees.
If you’re allergic to bees or other stinging insects, avoidance is your best bet. Keep your distance from uncovered food, be cautious of open soft drink cans, and resist wearing bright clothing or perfume, all of which attract bees. If someone near you gets stung, move away – some bees give off a chemical after they sting that can attract other stinging insects.

4 Be cautious at the food table.
Avoid foods in which nuts, dairy, and other common allergens can be lurking, such as mixed salads, barbecue sauces, and salad dressings. If grilling is involved, have your portion cooked on aluminum foil to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.

5 Stick to the middle.
Poison ivy can lurk in bushes and other foliage, so stay in open areas where you’re less likely to brush up against it.

6 Pay attention to ozone alerts.
High temperatures mixed with pollution can pose a problem for people with asthma. Carry a quick relief inhaler.


Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology,

This article was originally published in Coping® with Allergies & Asthma magazine, Spring/Summer 2011.