- Five on Friday
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This summer has been long, hot, and most notably, humid. Humidity can make us feel sticky and uncomfortable, but did you know it can cause respiratory and allergy issues, too?
How can humidity affect my breathing?
Humidity can cause an increase in the growth of mold, a common allergen. How? Humidity can create wet environments, which is conducive to mold growth. While it is normally thought of as a winter allergen, mold can grow anywhere and at any time under the proper conditions.
Mold spores can also be released with weather changes, like a rainstorm or barometric pressure change. Sudden, heavy rainstorms are very common in the Carolinas, so people should be cautious about exposing themselves to mold spores after these storms.
Allergies also often affect asthma. An estimated 50 to 70 percent of asthma cases are caused by allergic reactions. Mold is one of the allergens that can cause asthmatic reactions. If the humidity causes enough mold to grow, it can even cause reactions in people who don’t normally experience these symptoms, CEENTA ENT doctor Gregory Parsons, MD, said.
How do I reduce humidity levels?
Cutting down on humidity can help reduce mold growth in your home. One way to do that is improve ventilation. Proper air conditioning can help a lot, too. An appropriately-sized air conditioner will run regularly without turning on and off. This, in turn, will help ensure it runs long enough to eliminate humidity. Also, you should make sure your air conditioner is properly maintained. If it is not properly cleaned and working to its full capacity, it won’t help reduce humidity.
Remember, you don’t want to make the air completely dry, as dry air can cause its own nose and throat issues, such as nosebleeds.
What if I still need allergy treatment?
If you keep humidity at a proper level – at around 35 or 40 percent – and you still have allergy issues, treatment is available. After allergy testing, you and your doctor can discuss different care plans, ranging from over-the-counter medicines to immunotherapy.
CEENTA has allergy specialists in North and South Carolina who are eager to help treat your allergies, no matter what the humidity level is. Make an appointment with a CEENTA ENT doctor today.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Parsons practices in our Lancaster and Rock Hill offices. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
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