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How can a tropical storm or hurricane affect my allergies or asthma?

Clifford W. Bassett, MD
Allergy & Immunology
Stormy weather including tropical storms and hurricanes can worsen allergies and asthma as increased gusty winds can seriously spread wet mold spores into the air. Additionally, if a homeowner loses power, air conditioning which filters and dehumidifiers warm, humid air can allow outdoor allergens (particularly mold spores) to enter the home and trigger those pesky allergy-associated symptoms. In many areas we are already seeing high levels of various pollens, including ragweed, weeds and mold spores.

Of course indoor water-damaged areas can be problematic due to mildew and mold growth as a result, especially in basements, ground level areas as well as water-damaged walls, ceilings and flooring.

Those with chronic or persistent respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema may be in jeopardy if power outages result in loss of electricity needed for compressor-driven home "nebulized" asthma medications. Alternative medications and therapies need to be part of an asthma action plan that should be in place for those at risk.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.