Vasomotor rhinitis, also known as non-allergic rhinitis, is a condition characterized by chronic nasal symptoms without any specific allergic triggers. Unlike allergic rhinitis, which is caused by an immune response to allergens, vasomotor rhinitis is associated with abnormal nasal blood vessels and nerve sensitivity. Symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis are very similar to those of allergic rhinitis. They include nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and post-nasal drainage. With vasomotor rhinitis, often the runny nose is very watery and sudden-onset, and many patients describe their nose as “running like a faucet.” However, unlike allergic rhinitis, all these symptoms occur without actually having specific allergic triggers. To make things even more confusing, you can have both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis at the same time! Triggers of vasomotor rhinitis include changes in temperature or humidity, strong odors (perfumes, smoke), air pollutants, certain foods or beverages (spicy foods, alcohol), hormonal changes, and emotional stress. Thankfully there are many treatment options for vasomotor rhinitis, including nasal saline, medicated nasal sprays, and allergen avoidance and environmental control measures. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an allergist, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for vasomotor rhinitis. They can help identify triggers and provide guidance on managing your symptoms!
In Arizona, summer is typically associated with high temperatures and dry conditions, which can significantly affect the presence and concentration of pollen and mold spores in the air. While there is variability depending on specific locations within the state, here are some common types of outdoor allergens that may be present during the summer months in Arizona:
- Grass Pollen: Grasses are a common source of pollen during the summer season. Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, and other warm-season grasses are prevalent in Arizona and can release pollen particles into the air, potentially triggering allergies.
- Weed Pollen: Weeds, such as ragweed, are known to produce abundant pollen during the summer. Although ragweed is more common in the fall, other weed species like lamb’s quarters, pigweed, and Russian thistle (tumbleweed) can also release pollen and cause allergic reactions.
- Tree Pollen: While tree pollen is more abundant during the spring, some trees in Arizona may continue to release pollen during the early part of summer. Juniper trees, also known as cedar trees, are prevalent in the region and can produce allergenic pollen.
- Mold spores: Mold spores can be found year-round. While some molds, such as Alternaria, are more prevalent after rain or in areas with high humidity, some molds such as Aspergillus and Cladosporium thrive in warmer months and hotter, dry conditions.
It’s important to note that the specific pollen types and their levels can vary depending on factors such as location, weather conditions, and plant growth patterns. Checking local pollen and mold spore forecasts, as well as consulting with an allergist, can provide more specific and up-to-date information tailored to your specific area within Arizona and your personal allergies. Taking necessary precautions, such as keeping windows closed during high pollen counts, using air purifiers, and avoiding outdoor activities during peak pollen times, can help manage allergy symptoms during the summer months.
Five Reasons why Food Allergy Action Plans are Important
A food allergy action plan is an important tool for individuals who have food allergies, especially in settings such as schools, childcare facilities, or any place where a person may be at risk of exposure to allergens. The plan outlines specific steps to be taken in case of an allergic reaction. Here are some key reasons why a food allergy action plan is important:
- Emergency Preparedness: Food allergies can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening reactions, such as anaphylaxis. Having an action plan ensures that everyone involved is prepared in case of an allergic reaction. It provides clear instructions on what actions to take, including the use of emergency medication, such as epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g., EpiPen, Auvi-Q, etc).
- Standardized Communication: An action plan serves as a communication tool between the individual with the food allergy, their caregivers, teachers, school staff, and other relevant personnel. It provides vital information about the specific allergens, symptoms, and appropriate steps to be taken during an allergic reaction.
- Early Recognition and Intervention: The action plan includes a list of potential allergic symptoms, enabling early recognition of an allergic reaction. By promptly identifying the symptoms, appropriate actions can be taken, potentially preventing the reaction from escalating.
- Education: An action plan helps raise awareness and understanding among those involved. Education about food allergies is crucial for creating a safe environment and fostering empathy and support for individuals with allergies.
- Consistent Care: By having a documented action plan, the individual with the food allergy can receive consistent care across different settings. The plan provides a reference for caregivers and ensures that appropriate precautions and interventions are followed.