Summer in the Desert

Summer allergies got you down? Arizona is a giant oven that bakes your sinuses and blows around the grass and tree pollen, making allergy and asthma sufferers miserable. Right now, the air quality is especially dangerous with the Woodbury Fire burning in the Superstition Mountains. The smoke isn’t too much of a threat in the valley yet, but that will change if the wind shifts. Meteorologist for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Dr. Matt Pace, gives us a good rule of thumb when judging air quality. He says, “If you can see 5 miles or past 5 miles then generally the air quality is good. If it drops to 3 miles, then if you are sensitive to smoke, we recommend you stay inside. If it is down to one mile or less everyone should stay indoors if you can.” This is called the 5-3-1 Rule.

In a previous post we discussed why this year has been one of the worst allergy seasons. Arizona has received more rain than usual, and everything is in full bloom. Now that the temperatures are rising, all those desert plants are drying out and creating perfect fuel for wildfires. Experts aren’t projecting the Woodbury Fire to stop until monsoon storms hit towards the end of July.

On June 30, 2013, six years ago today, the Yarnell Hill Fire in Prescott killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. In July’s blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the health threats these wildfires pose, and how to avoid them. We’ll also get to hear from a Prescott Hotshot, an expert in safe practices when around smoke. He’ll share advice on how to stay safe during wildfire season.

It’s so important to stay up to date with weather conditions, as they directly affect your health. If you’re sensitive to smoke or other environmental triggers, consider wearing a mask if you must leave your home. Be diligent about checking your air filters throughout the season as well.

Escape the Heat

Now is the perfect time to get out of town, and hopefully away from your allergy triggers. School is out, Arizona is dry, and temperatures are in the triple digits. There are some things to keep in mind when traveling though. Different places mean different conditions with different allergens and risk of symptoms. Talk to Dr. Wendt about your travel plans. She can help you plan ahead for the most comfortable trip possible. If you travel to the same place every year to visit friends, family, or favorite spot, consider immunotherapy for allergens in those areas. Dr. Wendt can also evaluate the need for immunizations and/or vaccinations. Asthma patients should especially consider discussing activities such as hiking, scuba diving, and high elevation trips.

Tips for Safe Travel

Plan ahead. Know where you can get access to medical care in case of emergency. Make sure your prescriptions are up to date and that you have enough to last through your trip, plus a few days in case of travel delays. Stay hydrated. Have emergency contacts on hand.

If travelling by air:

  • Pack your medications, epinephrine pen, and other necessities in your carry on. Keep them with you at all times.
  • Bring your own snacks on the plane
  • Let the flight attendants know of your food allergy
  • Bring wipes to clean food surfaces
  • Take a decongestant before takeoff to eliminate uncomfortable pressure

If travelling by car:

  • Don’t roll down the windows. Instead use the air conditioner
  • Make sure the AC filters are clean
  • Request a car that has not been smoked in if renting
  • Keep medications in an easy to reach place

Hotel Stay:

  • Bring your own pillow
  • Request a non-smoking room
  • Reserve a room with a kitchen so you can prepare allergy-safe foods
  • Prepare ahead if staying in a pet friendly hotel

Your Health Comes First

Relieve AZ’s goal is to keep you healthy and comfortable. Make an appointment today to learn more about how to travel safely to your specific destination.

Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter, 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, and has convenient evening hours to accommodate your schedule.

Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments as appropriate. Insurance plans accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment and begin your allergy testing journey with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Learn more about Dr. Wendt and Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives at www.relieveaz.com.

REFERENCES

  1. An Allergy-Free Vacation: It’s Possible With Planning. Retrieved 20 June 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergy-free-vacation-its-possible-with-planning
  2. ADEQ monitors air quality closely as Woodbury Fire continues to burn. Retrieved 20 June 2019, from https://www.azfamily.com/news/arizona_wildfires/adeq-monitors-air-quality-closely-as-woodbury-fire-continues-to/article_fb78ee4a-9306-11e9-85c3-237f5f5d3119.html
  3. Allergies and Asthma on Vacation. Retrieved 20 June 2019, from https://acaai.org/allergies-and-asthma-vacation