PHOENIX — This week’s rains appear to be causing problems for allergy sufferers.
And when it’s not the rain, the dust storms could be dredging up the fungus that creates valley fever.
Dr. Joseph Mittel of Banner Health said he’s already seeing an uptick of allergy sufferers after all the rains.
And it’s just starting.
“Over the next few weeks, with the pollen count starting to rise due to some blooming plants, you worry about the usual hay fever symptoms of itchy, watery eyes and sneezing and things of that nature,” Mittel said.
Pollen isn’t the only culprit.
“Mold, mildew and things like that start to grow and raise their ugly heads, and that can also cause worsening hay fever-type symptoms,” he said.
Mittel suggested that staying indoors with windows closed will help stop the allergies. Doing certain daily activities at night will also help.
“Shower before bedtime,” he advised. “That pollen is all over your shirt and all through your hair. If you sleep in it all through the night, that can often trigger symptoms.”
For those who still cough and sneeze all through the night, head to the local drug store. Mittel said that there are several over-the-counter medications that may help relieve symptoms.
There is no over-the-counter relief for anyone with valley fever.
The chance of getting it is part of living in Arizona. Valley fever is caused by a fungus in the soil that gets into the body through the lungs. As usual, summertime here has come with dust storms.
Dr. Priaya Radhakrishnan, chair of medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, isn’t convinced there is a tie-in between haboobs and the increase of valley fever cases.
“We have looked at the impact of dust storms in valley fever cases and I don’t think we can conclusively say.”
She attributed the higher numbers of cases diagnosed to better early detection.
“If you have a good immunity system most of the time if you contract valley fever it’s a self-limited disease and you’re able to take care of it,” she said.
Valley fever can feel like a cold or the flu. Most people get better without treatment, but in some cases it can be deadly if it’s not treated.
“Unfortunately in a small percentage of patients it can spread,” Radhakrishnan said. “… It can be like cancer because it grows very slowly and oftentimes it takes several months or years to impact the entire system.
“We’ve seen patients with bad bone disease and it’s hard to treat. The treatment itself is pretty toxic as well. If you don’t have good immunity then it’s more likely for the disease to spread.”
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon