A large portion of the United States is spending the summer under the influence of a high pressure system that seems to be parked in the central US. This hot dry summer spells allergy problems for people with seasonal allergies
Just like the high pressure system that parked over Texas and Oklahoma last year, this weather pattern is bringing dry weather, hot temperatures and allergy problems. This year it is just a little farther north.
Why does a hot dry summer spell allergy problems?
The lack of rain is one reason. While rain does promote the growth of grasses, it also washes the tree and other pollens out of the air. Going outside right after a rain storm is the best chance you have of pollen-free air. If it isn’t raining, you don’t have that chance.
Also, the hot, dry weather prompts grasses to create more pollen. They are seriously trying to pass along their genetic material to the next generation (to put it politely).
When high pressure is in place, it is pushing air down. This means you get increased ozone levels. The sunlight bakes the emissions from cars, lawn mowers and factories, producing the ozone. Since the air is not circulating the ozone just stagnates. This can trigger asthmatic attacks and aggravate COPD, allergies, and other respiratory problems. This is just another way that a hot dry summer spells allergy problems.
Also, there are more dust particles in the air. While you might not be allergic to the actual dust, it serves as an irritant to the nasal and sinus passages. If the dust is bothering you, you will benefit from a nasal rinse with a sterile saline solution. This process will gently flush away the particles and restore moisture to the mucous membranes that line your respiratory system.
You can do you part to help by gassing up your car and cutting gas early in the day. Carpooling or using public transportation also helps with ozone. Keep an eye on your local news or The Weather Channel for air quality alerts related to particles or ozone.
If you have to go outside, do it in the evenings, morning, or right after one of those rare rain falls. The pollen counts will be lower. If you have an air cleaner, run it on the highest setting when you are not in the room, turn it back down when you come in the room to sleep and know that you will have cleaned the air as best as possible. Keeps doors and windows closed and the air conditioning running. Also, if you use disposable filters on your AC, make sure they have a MERV rating of at least 8. If you have a permanent filter on your AC, remember to keep it clean by washing once a month.
This high pressure may be here to stay for the remainder of the summer. It doesn’t go any good to complain about it because you can’t change the weather. You can only wait for the weather to change and then complain about the ragweeds!
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