Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What Allergy Sufferers Should Know Before Moving to the Desert

If you suffer from allergies –particularly if they are severe-, you might think moving out to the desert will help relieve your symptoms. However, what seems like the perfect solution might actually wind up making your allergies worse, or causing you to develop new ones. While you might not have the tree pollen you’re allergic to, deserts often have winds that whip up dust and sand. In addition, many desert communities have added golf courses to attract vacationers and retirees, which means extra grass pollen, dust, and spores are kicked into the air every time the greens are mowed or otherwise manicured. Lastly, while you may have left behind what you were allergic to back home, your immune system may inevitably develop sensitivities to the trees and vegetation in your new desert home, leaving you miserable all over again. 

Why does this happen? Blame the fundamental cause of allergies: your immune system. An allergy develops when your body’s immune system mistakes something harmless –such as ragweed, grass, tree pollen, or dust- for a harmful pathogen and mounts a defense against it. It’s that immune response that causes the classic allergy symptoms that make you so miserable. When you move to a different climate, you might be able to escape your allergies for a few years. But as you grow accustomed to the new climate and environment, your immune system may find new potential allergens to latch onto, which starts the allergy cycle all over again. 

So how can you make your transition to a new location as smooth and symptom free as possible? Check in with your doctor or an allergist at an allergy and asthma clinic. They can discuss your symptoms with you, educate you on potential allergy risks in the area you will be moving to, and recommend a course of treatment that may help mitigate your symptoms.

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