Payal Patel, MD, is a board-certified allergist at Rush South Loop.
By Payal Patel, MD
After surviving the polar vortex of 2019, many of us are just itching for some warm weather. But for allergy sufferers, could that itch be worse this year compared to the years past? Is this year truly the worst allergy season?
To answer that question, we must first take into account the climate pattern changes that are predicted to take place in our future. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are predicting a double to triple rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels within the next century. This rise in CO2 levels, in turn leads to changes in temperature and precipitation. Namely, Earth’s average temperature is expected to rise, as will the average global precipitation.
These global changes are the perfect setup for increasing pollen in the environment. This occurs by not only increasing the pollen production by some plants, but also by extending the pollen season.
Halloween is a time for dressing-up, trick-or-treating and eating delicious food at Halloween parties. For kids with food allergies and their parents, however, this day can cause a lot of anxiety due to potential exposure to common food allergens such as peanut, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat and soy.
Parents have to be vigilant about the candy that their children collect, often having to say no to most candies that are offered. The mother of one of my patients said that they often have to forgo candy because it contains multiple ingredients that her son is allergic to.
If this candy is accidentally eaten, the reaction can be fatal. “We have gotten used to picking and choosing the candies that we know are safe,” she says.
Prior to joining Rush in September, I didn’t know that an asthma center existed at Rush. Since the community at large and physicians within Rush may also be unaware of it, my goal is to raise awareness about the Rush University Asthma Center.
Our team is dedicated in its quest to improve the quality of life for patients with asthma and their families. From proper diagnosis to prescribing appropriate medications, asthma education is the emphasis of our team approach.