Archive for June, 2012
Much of the nation’s attention has been focused on two-weather related events. Tropical storm Debby has soaked a good portion of the Southeast, especially Florida, and residents of some western states are experiencing raging.
The potential for harm and destruction from both situations weighs on tens of thousands of people who may be personally impacted by both disasters. However, others can experience the effects of the rain and/or smoke from a health perspective.
First, the smoke that is blowing through much of the western states can cause sinus irritation and make it difficult to breathe. This is especially dangerous for people who suffer from asthma. The smoke can trigger symptoms and could lead to people seeking medical attention.
The aftermath of Debby is cause for concern as mold thrives in warm, damp locations. For people who are in homes or offices that had leaks, the potential for mold growth is high.
People who suffer from sinusitis can have a flare up from mold spores which can lead to sinus headaches, runny noses and possibly infection.
Until you can get rid of the smoke and the mold spores, here are some precautions to take:
- Avoid inhaling the smoke or airborne mold spores whenever possible.
- Wear a mask to protect yourself.
- If you do inhale any irritants, rinse your sinus passages immediately to help get rid of the pollutants. You might even try an herbal-enhanced saline spray or rinse which can moisturize and soothe irritated nasal passages.
- Protect your eyes with goggles as both smoke and mold spores can cause irritation.
- If you experience trouble breathing, see a medical practitioner immediately.
There’s almost always something in the air. In many parts of the country, it’s apparent when fall and spring allergy season is present.
However, because various grasses produce irritants, the season for sneezing can extend through the warm summer months, too.
According to Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and owner of the Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center in Central Florida, golfers are especially susceptible to experiencing sinus irritation. That’s because many golf lovers take advantage of the warm weather by heading to the greens where they are spend a lot of time on the grass.
And while the rainy season can help wash away some of the pollen, it can nurture the growth of mold spores another airborne irritant.
Neuzil said that patients can be tested to determine what they are allergic to and then the patient takes a serum that includes the diluted irritants that cause discomfort. This serum is then injected into the patient. Called immunotherapy, it enables the body’s own immune system to learn to protect itself from these pollutants.
Of course, not everyone needs the immunotherapy to protect themselves from dry, itchy eyes and noses. For many people, just avoiding the irritants can make a difference.
The trick is being prepared for the potential to be exposed to known or unknown allergens wherever you go.