Arizona Allergy Problems and Treatment for El Nino
Do you remember the strong El Niño of 1997-98? The Phoenix Valley and much of Arizona experienced a wet late winter. This year’s El Niño is at least as strong or possibly even stronger than the one in 1997-98, a fact that seems to be borne out by strong storms hitting the California coast and making their way over the mountains to Arizona. Not only will the tempest be in the skies, it will also be in the nasal passages and lungs of local allergy sufferers.
Already we’re seeing an uptick in the number of people visiting our Valley-wide allergy and asthma clinics. That’s because the wet conditions typical of an El Niño winter and spring in Arizona are ideal for producing mold spores followed by pollen as trees and desert plants begin awakening from their short winter slumber. Even if your allergies are mild, you will likely experience increased symptoms over the next few months.
For some patients, the strength of their symptoms can become severe, leading to respiratory distress and hospitalization. Become proactive and visit us before your symptoms become too severe. Ignoring strong allergy symptoms can lead to nasal and ear infections and to respiratory problems such as bronchitis in addition to severe asthma.
Unfortunately, many Arizonans can expect severe symptoms for several months. Due to our high levels of rain since last fall, the desert will come alive with blooming plants, meaning the air will be saturated with more pollen than normal until the summer burns it off.
In addition to immunotherapy and taking medications before you head outside, you can do several things to lessen symptom severity. Keep doors and windows closed and make sure that air conditioning filters are changed frequently. Set your ventilation system in your car to recirculate cabin air so additional allergens aren’t pulled in.
Pollen levels tend to be highest in the morning and dissipate as the day goes on. Avoid hiking and wear a mask if you are going to do any gardening. Shower when you come in to wash off pollen.
If your symptoms seem to spiral out of control, consider getting additional allergy testing. You may have developed additional sensitivities, but the only way to know definitively is to come into our office and be tested. Please contact our office today or online appointment setter today to schedule an appointment with our Allergy physician today!