If you have been keeping up with the news, you’ve likely heard of the Saharan dust cloud covering much of Texas. This cloud has many effects, including reducing air quality. Additionally, the dust cloud is usually accompanied by hotter weather.
Unfortunately, the most significant effect for most people will be an increase in allergy symptoms. Your body will treat the dust much like it treats pollen, leading to symptoms like a runny nose and watery eyes. The lower humidity will also aggravate these conditions.
Thankfully, you can fight these symptoms with the help of your local family doctor. Reaching out to the family doctor at Healthy Lifestyle RGV Medical Clinic can make the coming days more comfortable until the dust clears.
The Saharan dust cloud is officially known as the Saharan air layer. The Saharan air layer affects Texas throughout the summer and can occur every three to five days.
This phenomenon happens because of storms in the Sahel region of Africa, which borders the Saharan. These storms kick dust high into the atmosphere and powerful winds then blow this dust across the Atlantic, eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico and Texas.
The strong winds, dry air, and dust can have wide effects on the weather. Over the Gulf of Mexico, it can cause algae blooms and suppress storms and hurricanes. On land, it can add additional heat. Unfortunately, the dust can also interrupt cloud formation, which means we get little relief from the summer heat.
Your immune system will assume that this dust is a danger and react just like it does with pollen.
The Saharan dust blowing into Texas can have a range of effects on individuals, with the most common symptoms similar to seasonal allergies: a runny nose and scratchy throat.
These mild symptoms can be handled easily by following the same steps you would take to deal with your seasonal allergies. Nasal sprays, allergy medicine, and nasal irrigation can help with mild symptoms.
If you enjoy being active, you might consider exercising indoors or using a mask to help minimize the amount of dust inhaled.
When indoors, use a HEPA filter for your central air unit to help reduce the dust in the air.
If you have a history of asthma or emphysema, you need to be more cautious at this time to reduce your risk of inflaming your condition. You’ll want to keep your inhaler close and those with pulmonary conditions should keep their medicine close.
Serious symptoms to keep an eye out for include:
• Difficulty breathing
• Severe symptoms that interfere with your day
• Medications are not effective
If you develop any of these issues, ask your doctor about additional medications that may help. They can guide you to suitable options for your symptoms and medical history.
If you develop sudden severe symptoms, seek medical care immediately. Allergic reactions can become severe very quickly for some.
If you want some relief for your symptoms, you have options, and the local family doctor here at Healthy Lifestyles RGV Medical Clinic is here to help. We can work with you to provide the relief you need from allergy symptoms. Don’t suffer through your symptoms!