Phoenix is a beautiful city that has been growing for the last few decades. As it is in the desert, many people think that they can escape problems with allergies and possible asthma by relocating to the city. However, there is no real escape from allergies. You simply find that you are allergic to things besides the mold and mildew of wetter climates.
Arizona is in in the Top 15 of states for Asthma
A report released by the University of Arizona identified Arizona as being in the top 15 states where asthma has been reported and almost 10% of Arizona adults have been told that they may have asthma. A large reason why the state is in the top 15,(which is a less than desirable ranking) ,is because so many people moved to the desert hoping to avoid developing asthma.
This meant that people and their children who were more likely to develop asthma moved to the desert because they likely thought our desert climate would be better prevention for asthma and allergies than it is! Unfortunately, there are just as many allergens in AZ, so people were lulled into a false sense of security.
Knowing Your Arizonan Allergens
If you have a genetic disposition to asthma but have not been diagnosed with the illness, there are a few things you can do to help be aware of what triggers it. One of the best things you can do is to know what allergens affect you. Our clinics can help you learn about your allergies through prick testing. This method of testing is conducted on the skin and includes all of the most common types of allergens:
- Animal dander (cat and dog)
There may not be as many molds in Phoenix as somewhere like in the Midwest, but the desert is not mold free. Alternaria is a mold that is located nearly everywhere across North America. Perhaps the biggest problem is that there are numerous strains, and you may be allergic to one type but not another. The good news is that our doctors have the advanced knowledge and medications will be able to test and treat for the strains that are likely to grow in our desert area.
Get Tested by Specialists
To see if you may be affected by local allergens which could be causing your asthma, call or schedule an appointment today with our Asthma Specialists! We have offices and testing hours in Glendale, Anthem, Scottsdale, Avondale and in Mid Phoenix in order to make it as convenient for your as possible! It’s time for you to live allergy and asthma free!
About our Ozone and Allergies
Ozone is a reactive gas that is composed of three oxygen atoms (O3). It can be either natural or man-made. Natural ozone is created by oxygen in the atmosphere interacting with UV radiation; this is how the Earth’s ozone layer was created. Up in the atmosphere, ozone works to filter UV radiation and keep it from reaching the Earth’s surface. Man-made ozone results from reactions between volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides. VOCs can come from chemical plants, gasoline pumps, oil-based paints, auto body shops, and print shops. Nitrogen oxides often come from high temperature combustion, sources of which include power plants, industrial furnaces and boilers, and motor vehicles.
While high ozone levels are typically associated with large urban areas, they can occur anywhere. Ozone can travel for hundreds of miles on wind patterns, settling in new areas far away from where it originated. This also means high ozone levels can occur at any time of the day or night, though they risk being the highest in the afternoon during the heat of the day.
Because of its reactive qualities, ozone that is inhaled can react with the tissues and biological molecules present in the respiratory tract. This can lead to severe inflammation of the respiratory passages, decrease lung function, and induce respiratory symptoms. Those symptoms include:
- throat irritation
- chest pain, burning, or discomfort when taking a breath
- chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath
In addition, research has shown that higher levels of ozone in the air can lead to increased asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and risk of death. Ozone can trigger asthma attacks, increase sensitivity to asthma triggers, and aggravate existing asthma symptoms.
Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016:
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at H.R. 4775. While its detractors call it the ‘Smoggy Skies Act’, its official name is the ‘Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016‘. The bill is a direct answer to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by the EPA. By revising these standards as they are currently written in the Clean Air Act, this bill will do a couple of things:
First, it will delay the clean air standards set by the EPA in 2015, extending the deadline for compliance until October 26, 2024. In addition, it will delay the EPA declaring areas of the states as ‘attainment’, ‘non-attainment’, or ‘unclassifiable’ under the 2015 NAAQS regulations until 2025.
Second, it will change the EPA’s review cycle for criteria pollutants from a 5 year cycle to a 10 year cycle, with the next review not being allowed before October 26, 2025. And prior to establishing any new regulations, the EPA must meet with its advisory committee to assess the benefits and costs associated with making changes to the NAAQS.
How will H.R. 4775 Impact Allergy Sufferers:
So what will this mean if you suffer from asthma or other respiratory allergies? It means the clean air requirements that were established by the EPA in 2015 will have their implementation delayed until at least 2024. Supporters of the bill may cite the costs of retrofitting manufacturing facilities to meet these higher air quality standards on relatively short notice, and they may also cite the costs of retrofitting old factories to meet these new standards. It could potentially mean that manufacturing facilities in U.S. cities with the worst air quality will have more time to retrofit their facilities to meet the new requirements, leading to many more years of individuals suffering increased allergy and asthma attacks due to pollution. It could also potentially weaken the Clean Air Act’s limits on other potentially dangerous pollutants, such as Carbon Monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, leading to an increase in those pollutants in the air.
Info brought to you by your staff from Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C..
Many people tend to use the term “allergy season” at will, but the truth is that allergic reactions only occur at certain times of the year. Allergy seasons merely denote that there is an overabundance of certain allergens. The fact of the matter is that allergens bother people all year long and can lead to various health problems; with that in mind, here are some common allergens that keep reputable allergy doctors in Phoenix busy all year: