Summer allergies are around the corner again Best way to keep allergies at bay is to eat light and consume a lot of water New Delhi, 12 May 2017: Scorching summers are here to stay and if that is not all, there is an additional problem to deal with every summer; that of summer allergies. Summer is a time of common allergy annoyances like watery/itchy eyes and profuse sneezing with the allergens manifesting themselves as nasal stuffiness and excess mucus in the nose and throat. During summer, our body is exposed to different allergens and the immune system forms allergy-specific antibodies called immunoglobulins. These are present in the cells of eyes, nose, lungs, and skin. When a person comes in contact with these allergens, the body reacts by releasing chemicals called histamines, which in turn leads to an allergic reaction. Speaking about summer allergies, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, "Some common allergic symptoms during summer include frequent headaches, breathing through the mouth instead of the nose, plugged ears, an itchy throat, and lack of sleep. If you find any of these symptoms occurring, it is a good idea to consult a physician for diagnosis and treatment. Our fluid intake also increases in summer and therefore we must consume purified water to avoid any kind of allergy. Eat the right kind of food as carelessness can lead to many infections. Do not ignore symptoms such as tiredness, dehydration, or cold, as it might just be the first step towards an allergy." In summer, many of us spend more time in air-conditioned surroundings. Lack of fresh air and dryness tend to irritate the mucous membrane and thus cause a sore throat. This is also the season when dust particles settle inside homes due to dust storms. This can be a cause of worry for asthmatics. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said," It is imperative to give the body ample rest time in summer. Keep yourself hydrated and stay indoors during peak summer afternoons. It is a good idea to avoid sudden temperature changes. Eat light and avoid taking unnecessary medication. The best way to fight summer allergies is to go natural." A few lifestyle changes can help keep summer allergies at bay. Some of them are as follows. • Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go. It helps to add some flavor, and salt and sugar help a lot in balancing the lost minerals and fluids due to excessive heat. • Avoid sugary drinks and packed juices as they tend to slow down the fluid absorption rate of the body. • Avoid wearing dark and tight clothes as they tend to block the pores and increase the body temperature. Light-colored and loose fitting clothes preferably in cotton are the best to tackle summer heat. • Eat a lot of summer fruits and vegetables which are rich in water and minerals like watermelons, melons, cucumber, and zucchini to name a few. • Staying indoors helps a lot but in case of unavoidable travel do ensure that you carry all the necessary supplies required for keeping your body cool and rested, with you. Try to be in a cool and shady place. Wear protective gear such as hat or cap to safeguard your head from the intense heat. • Keep a check over your urine. Dark yellow or amber urine means that your body is dehydrated and needs to be hydrated immediately.