Archive for June, 2013

Safe from Smog

For many families, summertime offers the chance to explore new places.

It is also a time of year when certain regions and cities are prone to high smog levels which can cause or aggravate health problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis as well as eye irritation and reduced resistance to colds and lung infections.

smog, air pollution, air qualitySmog is an accumulation of greenhouse gases and pollution. During summer smog is worse because ozone, which is the main component of smog, increases production in strong sunlight.

The chemical gases and air pollutants in smog irritates respiratory organs and long-term exposure to smog can lead to various diseases. When traveling with children, especially ones with asthma, it is important to take precautions in locations prone to high levels of smog.

  • Stay indoors on heavy smog days.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise which causes you to breathe deeply thereby drawing pollutants deep into your lungs.
  • Use a saline rinse after being in the outdoors to get rid of any inhalants that could cause irritation.

Check for air quality alerts for your destination by visiting AirNow.gov so that you can plan accordingly for your visit.

Surprising Summer Allergy Triggers

While much of the nation is suffering through the spring pollen season, expect the upcoming summer months to bring a new set of potential allergy triggers.

One of the most common pollutants to watch out for is mold. Outdoor mold can be found almost anywhere including in soil, mulch and rotting wood. Mold spores increase as temperatures rise and reach their peak in July in warmer states.

Summer fruits and vegetables may also prompt an oral allergy syndrome in people who are susceptible to grass allergies. The symptom, which feels like a tingly feeling after biting a juicy piece of fruit or veggie, is a cross-reaction between similar proteins in certain fruits and vegetables and the allergy-causing grass, tree or weed pollens. Symptoms are often short-lived so you can either put up with the annoying feeling or see a medical practitioner if it becomes unbearable.allergy symptoms, summer allergies, chlorine, mold spores, red eyes, irritated sinuses.

If camping is in your summer plans, you might want to avoid campfire smoke. Smoke is a common asthma trigger and may cause a dangerous asthma flare-up.

And while chlorine is not an allergen, the smell from pools can be an irritant and can cause allergy-like eye and nose symptoms.

We certainly do not want to discourage summer fun but being aware of potential allergic triggers – and avoiding them when possible – will help ensure your summer fun is uninterrupted.