While many people move to a desert area to find relief from their allergies, a desert environment might actually trigger allergies. In fact, at least a third of those who live in the Phoenix area experience some level of what is commonly known as “hay fever.” Hay fever means your body is reacting to pollens or mold of some type, and these reactions can take the form of sneezing, watery eyes and nose, congestion or itchiness.
Ragweed is one of the most common allergy-inducing plants across the United States and Phoenix has over a dozen native species of ragweed.
Ragweed is a perennial weed (in other words- it will affect allergy sufferers who have problems with it YEAR-ROUND)! Contact with the ragweed pollen can lead to coughing, wheezing, swollen eyelids, itchy eyes, itchy throat and ears, sneezing, hives and other rashes.
Other trees in the state of Arizona which could potentially lead to Hay fever include:
- Russian Thistle is a tumbleweed which many people are sensitive to, causing skin rashes and other allergic reactions following exposure
- African Sumac is a tree which can cause unrelenting sneezing among many people in the area.
- Feather Palm and Desert Fan Palm—like many palm trees, both the feather palm and the desert fan palm shed an immense amount of pollen which can lead to serious allergy symptoms.
- Cottonwood tree allergies are not as common as you might think with all the cottony fluff which falls from the trees each year, however those who are allergic to cottonwoods are typically very allergic—and may also be allergic to willows as well.
- Desert Broom grows in disturbed soil; the cotton-like seed plumes fly away in the wind, causing allergies among many.
- Arizona Sycamore is a tree which is typically considered a moderate allergen, although some people will react more strongly to the sycamore pollens.
- Chinese Elm allergies are caused by the pollen which is carried by the wind in the fall months. Chinese elm pollen is considered a moderate allergen.
- Arizona Ash will typically cause allergic reactions among those who are also sensitive to Olive tree pollen.
- Arizona Sycamore trees flower between March and June, and are often seen in Arizona parks and streets. Similar to the California Sycamore, the Arizona Sycamore causes allergic reactions among some residents.
- Hackberry can cause allergic reactions among those who are close in proximity and who have continued exposure. While Hackberry is in the same family as elm (very allergenic), it does not cause the extreme level of allergies among most people.
- Juniper trees are a common source of allergies due to the pollen they create and those with Juniper allergies are also likely to be allergic to Cedar and Cypress tree pollen.
- Mesquite is a serious offender in the southwest, producing considerable levels of airborne pollen. Those with Mesquite allergies may suffer from nasal inflammation, nasal congestion, sneezing, scratchy throats, contact dermatitis and even asthma.
- Bermuda grass, while well-suited to the Arizona desert, is a more significant allergen than most other grasses, causing itchy eyes, runny noses and sneezing.
And other common allergens found in Phoenix
Because many parts of Arizona are dry, receiving little rain, dust is a given. During certain times, especially during our monsoon season (usually June through August),Phoenix area residents experience severe dust storms and dust devils, and they are on the rise.
For those with allergies, desert dust is never good news, as it has an effect on respiratory systems, causing coughing, wheezing and watery, itchy eyes. Air pollution can also be a problem, particularly for those who live in the Phoenix metro area, which sits in a valley, allowing the pollutants to just hang around.
Contact Our Phoenix Allergy Specialists
If you’re suffering from allergies, we can help. Our allergy doctors have helped thousands of patients in Arizona breathe a little easier. You deserve to live a life that is free of allergy attacks. Find an allergy and asthma clinic near you.
We serve patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Avondale, and Anthem. Call today at 602-242-4592, or book an appointment immediately online here!
See also related article about top allergens in the Valley:
High Desert Asthma and Allergies- Advice from Asthma Specialists
EpiPen Shortage Update for Families suffering from Allergies
When Back-to-School time rolls around every year we always remind the parents of kids with asthma and allergies to stock up on more than notebooks and tissue. It’s a good time to make sure you’ve got the inhalers and EpiPens your child needs to get through the school year safely, too.
Parents of kids with allergies typically need two boxes, or four pens, to make it through the year. Two for the school nurse’s office, and two for home.
Unfortunately, a 2018 EpiPen shortage may make this task difficult for parents this year.
According to Pfizer, the manufacturer of EpiPens, the company is experiencing “manufacturing constraints” that are making distribution at some pharmacies “iffy.” Generic EpiPens have been approved by the FDA but haven’t made it to market yet, making these distribution problems even more of a challenge for parents who may already have been challenged by the high price of epinephrine.
In response to the shortage, the FDA has reviewed certain lots of EpiPens and has chosen to extend the expiration dates on some pens. Thus, the first step for your child will be reviewing your current EpiPen lot to see if your current pens will tide them over until supplies stabilize. You can call our offices if you need help with this.
You can view the list of lots and the new expiration dates here. You will typically find the lot number on the top of the box your pens came in. Your pharmacy can also help if you’re having trouble finding your lot number.
What if your current batch of EpiPens is not part of the extension?
If that’s the case, we may be able to help you locate a pharmacy that currently has a sufficient supply to fill your prescription. With five locations throughout the state we sometimes have access to information other clinics won’t have. While receiving your pens may require a bit of a drive it’s worth it to know your child will have the lifesaving EpiPen on hand should he or she need it.
Mylan, the company that markets EpiPens, has also offered a hotline for parents looking for a place to fill their prescription. You can reach this hotline by dialing 1-800-796-9526.
Another option may be to explore whether your child can use one of the Epi alternatives out there, like Adrenaclick or Auvi-Q. You may have to speak to your insurance company about whether they’ll cover these alternatives. Even if your insurer doesn’t cover these alternatives normally some have been making one-time exceptions in response to the EpiPen shortage.
It doesn’t hurt to ask!
If you’re lucky enough to have an EpiPen that won’t expire for a few months anyway, we here at the Adult and Pediatric Allergy Associates would like to encourage you to wait on your refills. You’ll really help parents who have an emergency situation now. By the time your pens actually expire you might have managed to wait this shortage out. And at the very least, you won’t contribute to the current problem by replacing pens that don’t need to be replaced yet.
For more information about our allergy testing or clinic, you can book at any of our 5 allergy and asthma clinisc in the Phoenix Metro on our ZocDoc site for an appointment!
If your child has been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (eczema), food allergies, asthma, or other conditions, it can be tough to understand how these conditions interact with each other, and how they came to be in the first place.
As a parent, having a child with a medical condition can be stressful, and we are here to help! Our team of experienced and highly-trained professionals can help you navigate daily life and offer better insights into the causes and remedies of your unique symptoms and condition.
Understanding Childhood Allergies
Pediatric allergies can range from atopic dermatitis (eczema) to asthma, hay fever, and food allergies. In recent studies, it was found that if your child was diagnosed with eczema while they were an infant, it was highly possible that this would progress into other conditions in later childhood. These conditions include:
- Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever)
- Food Allergies
Does Eczema cause other Problems?
One study investigated whether early allergy sensitivities increased the progression to other conditions. What they ultimately found was that children who developed eczema during infancy and who also had allergic sensitizations (such as an allergy to food) were 7 times more likely to develop other conditions, like asthma, in later childhood. They also concluded that children with dual conditions were also more likely to develop other conditions such as food allergies and allergic rhinitis (hay fever) for example.
However, this study also concluded that if a child developed eczema without any other allergen sensitivities by their first birthday, they would be at a lower risk of developing asthma or other allergy-associated sensitivities in later childhood.
These conditions are thought to be caused by an irregularity of the gene encoding filaggrin, which is an important skin protein. Unfortunately, this type of genetic testing isn’t readily available in most clinical practices, so alternative approaches for diagnosis may be needed.
What Can Be Done for Children?
Here at Adult and Pediatric Allergy Associates, we understand the discomfort and anxiety that allergies such as atopic dermatitis can bring into your and your children’s lives. Our desert environment, along with foods and even a lack of sufficient allergy awareness plays a major role in the rising number of allergic attacks throughout Arizona. And as you can see, the more we prevent allergies from starting, the better it can be for our growing children!
Our top-rated Phoenix allergy and asthma specialists can help you and your child better understand and manage your allergy symptoms, including the underlying causes and triggers with comprehensive allergy testing here in the Valley. With over 20 years of experience and 5 clinics across the valley, you can be sure to find the absolute best treatment plans for patients of all ages.
If you are tired of the effects of persistent allergic reactions contact us at 602-242-4592 today and discover Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C. can help!
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!
Allergy Testing Phoenix
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..