Public health advocates in the United States have long been concerned about the impact of global warming on human health. Janet Grace Ortigas of The Guardian Express recently wrote about how the country has been experiencing unusual weather patterns, longer heat waves, and warmer days with temperatures above 90 degrees—factors that lead to an increasing number of people succumbing to heat-related illnesses. Today, extreme heat is also feared to be a major trigger for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, particularly among children and the elderly.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in twelve Americans suffers from respiratory conditions. As the article states, these numbers are expected to rise in the next few years as climate change continues to worsen. A higher incidence of respiratory diseases is very likely in Phoenix, where temperatures as high as 118 degrees have been recorded. Now that temperatures in the Valley of the Sun typically hover between 98 and 113 degrees, locals may be more likely to develop heat-related allergies and may need to see a reputable allergist in Phoenix before long.
Ortigas also cites Katharine Hayhoe, a climatologist from the University of Texas, as saying that extreme weather must now be viewed as the new normal, while moderate weather must now be regarded as a thing of the past. However, it should also be emphasized that extreme heat does not directly cause respiratory conditions. Rather, severe heat activates the various triggers that lead to respiratory illnesses.
According to the article, rising temperatures contribute to higher ozone levels and greater amounts of aeroallergens like pollen, a primary trigger of asthma-like conditions typically characterized by breathing difficulties, coughing, wheezing, and tightening of the chest. According to a related article in Newsweek, tree pollen levels are at their highest in 25 years, based on a study from Rutgers University’s Center for Environmental Prediction. Increasing temperatures apparently cause plants like ragweed to bloom earlier than usual, thus extending the country’s peak pollen season.
Spores are a specific category of aeroallergens that can aggravate respiratory conditions. Fungi release spores into the air when they reproduce, and these particles can cause significant allergic reactions such as skin rashes. In the event that you get exposed to fungal spores, you may want to see a reputable immunologist in Phoenix from trusted practices such as Adult & Pediatric Associates, P.C.
Global warming and the threat of ever-changing weather patterns are all but inescapable, and the possible health implications of these events should not be taken lightly. With extreme weather becoming the norm, it is crucial for everyone to recognize the importance of seeking proper medical attention as the need arises.