As mother nature has once again re-validated her power through torrential rains, powerful winds and winter blizzard through “superstorm Sandy”, we are not only left with damaged properties, infrastructure but also with the renewed resolve to re-build. The immediate threat of danger has gone but also has left us with many potential health risks to deal with. Let’s prepare to prevent and minimize some of these, from allergy and asthma perspective.
Some of the general concerns:
1, Falling objects when returning to damaged homes.
2, Electricity risks from down power lines and damaged appliances and home wiring.
3, Carbon monoxide poisoning from using indoor heating and generators.
4, Gas leakage, fire hazard and explosions.
5, Water borne illnesses from contaminated water supply.
6, Health risks from consuming perishable food, such as eggs, milk, meat, fish – that’s been in a refrigerator without power.
Potential triggers for our patients and families with allergies and asthma:
1, Big storms can also boost concentrations of pollen and mold, two major allergy triggers.
2, Exposure to dust and chemicals during cleaning up.
3, Indoor gases and VOCs inside the damaged buildings.
4, Mold growth in wet walls and water damaged materials.
5, Stress of re-building life.
6, Lack of getting and using regular medications.
1, Be mindful of your environment.
2, Use masks to protect you from environmental triggers.
3, Accept the reality of life to reduce the stress.
4, Continue taking your regular medications, as prescribed.
5, Drink water from safe supply and stay hydrated.
6, Maintain well balanced diet despite the rebuilding work and stress.
7, Ask for help. Many helping hands will be happy to be of service.
At www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com, we opened our doors, very next day after the storm, to accommodate the needs of patients and families. We still do not have phone service, internet or computer systems working as of today! We have been innovative in many ways to help our patients with available resources and infrastructure. We want you to know that we are all in this together and we will re-build again, even better. We are using the public library computers to stay connected with you!
About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.