20 Jun Does Hurricane Season Affect Allergies & Asthma?
Hurricane season is upon us and with it comes an increase in outdoor allergens that can be found in the air. Allergy and Asthma triggers can result from these factors as well as additional wind, rain, and plant growth. The season officially started on June 1st and will continue until November 30th, but there are ways to find relief from the top factors that cause allergy and asthma reactions during this time.
Here are the top three factors that worsen allergies and asthma during Hurricane season.
Factor #1: The Gusty Wind
During hurricane season, the wind stirs up various outdoor allergens including wet mold spores. The damp environments resulting from the heavy rains can also cause an increase in mold count. During this time, people with mold allergies can have severe reactions that can lead to chronic lung illnesses and lung infections from these types of airborne allergens.
Factor #2: Homeowner Power Loss
Storms can cause power outages in homes and when the power is out reactions are typically concentrated on air conditioning units, especially in the Summer months. Not only do these units keep the home cool, but they also assist in keeping humidity low. When the units are running, they help to filter and dehumidify the warm, humid air which prevents mold from growing easier and the proliferation of dust mites.
Factor #3: The After Effects of a Hurricane
When moisture is brought into an already high-humidity environment the excess water will cause plants to bloom causing allergies to worsen for those who react to shrub particles. The unsafe weather can also put a pause on services such as mowing and general yard maintenance, which will leave plants and weeds to continue growing and release allergens.
How can Allergy and Asthma reactions be prevented during Hurricane Season?
#1: Create an Asthma Action Plan, if you do not have one already!
Asthma Action plans are important to have in writing. This is a plan that should provide information and instructions on how to manage your asthma. It should include the medicines to take, the symptoms that appear when your asthma is getting worse and what steps to take in an emergency. If you need some assistance creating an Asthma Action Plan, visit your allergist or the board certified allergists at McGovern Allergy and Asthma Clinic to help develop your plan for emergencies.
#2: Be Ready to be without Power or Evacuate if Necessary
Prepare a go bag filled with the necessities to help with asthma or allergy relief. Make sure to include enough medicine to last several days, your doctor’s contact information, copies of your Asthma Action Plan, a portable battery-powered nebulizer (if you use one), a mask to wear for protection from mold and airborne allergens, and your insurance cards.
#3: Be Prepared with Cleanup Items Before the Storm Hits
After a hurricane or a major storm every item to help with cleanup is often sold out, so to help prepare yourself make sure to purchase and pack gloves and masks with your medicine. This will help in ensuring that you are ready to take action as soon as the storm is over. This can be critical if your home has flooded or has water damage from the hurricane.
#4: Thunderstorm Asthma During Hurricanes
Thunderstorms can cause asthma triggers for those with allergic asthma. The wind picks up pollen grains that have been broken up during the storm and spreads them around. The tiny particles made smaller from the storm can be inhaled into the lungs which can result in Thunderstorm Asthma. Be sure to follow your Asthma Action Plan and the outlined steps should an Asthma attack occur.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms and are looking for relief, contact the experienced team at McGovern Allergy and Asthma Clinic today. Visit https://mcgovernallergy.com or call 713-661-1444 to book an appointment today.