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The average temperatures in San Antonio during the summer hover in the sweltering mid-90s. Hot weather affects the body in many ways beyond merely causing us to sweat. It can also lead to increased symptoms for people with allergies. Here’s a closer look at how summer heat compromises your breathing, along with what you can do about it.
The weather may be a common small talk topic. However, as anyone who’s ever been through a tornado, hurricane, or other extreme weather event knows, weather can be a really big deal. But even when the sun is shining on a “perfect” summer day, the weather can still wreak havoc on our health and wellness -- especially if you have allergies or asthma and the inflamed airways that go along with them.Explains the American Lung Association, “Because people with asthma already have inflamed airways, weather is more likely to have an impact, as breathing in hot, humid air induces airway constriction in asthmatics. Air pollution can also be a factor impacting summer breathing in those with lung disease, as increased ozone from smog is often seen in the summer months.”Meanwhile, repeated exposure to seasonal allergies like pollen can lead to the development of allergic rhinitis, AKA “hay fever,” and allergic sinusitis, in which the nose becomes blocked leading to the blockage of sinuses. Allergic sinusitis shares similar symptoms with nonallergic sinusitis, including nasal congestion; itchy eyes, nose and throat; headache pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around the face; increased irritability, trouble to focus and fatigue; sleep problems; and a reduced sense of smell and taste, according to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The good news? There are some things you can do to minimize the impact of summer heat on your health -- starting with avoiding known triggers. Recommends the Mayo Clinic, “Even if you're treating your allergy symptoms, try to avoid triggers. If, for instance, you're allergic to pollen, stay inside with windows and doors closed when pollen is high.” Additionally, air conditioning can reduce exposure to hot, humid air.Also, keep in mind that some days are worse than others in terms of heat, humidity, and air pollution. By monitoring weather and air quality forecasts, you can limit your time outdoors on especially hot or high air pollution days in order to avoid triggering your nasal allergies.Lastly, taking your controller medication as prescribed as well as keeping quick-relief medications with you at all times can help you minimize the degree to which changing weather conditions impact you and your breathing.Despite your best efforts, you may still find your allergy symptoms worsening in the summer. However, you don’t have to continue to suffer with no hope for relief. You may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive alternative to traditional sinus surgery which can safely and effectively reduce uncomfortable and painful allergic sinusitis symptoms. Book your appointment with San Antonio’s American Sinus Institute today to learn how we can help you solve your sinus problems and breath easier this summer.