LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The high heat and humidity are wreaking havoc on both asthma and allergy sufferers in Kentuckiana this week.
Dr. James Sublett with Family Allergy and Asthma says mold spores populate with rising humidity and dampness. So if you're allergic to mold and spending any length of time outside, it can cause coughing, congestion and even asthma flares.
For treatment, Dr. Sublett says to first confirm that it is a mold allergy through an allergy skin test. The only absolute route to relief says Sublett is to avoid mold both inside and outside the home. He recommends wearing a Niosh N-95 filter mask during activity that stirs up dust. Use cleaning products that kill mold in and around showers, refrigerators and trash cans. Dr. Sublett also recommends a high quality furnace filter, rated MERV 11 or higher, in your HVAC system. And to keep fan in 'on' position to keep air continually circulating through the filter.
Monica Bell, a nurse practitioner at Family Allergy and Asthma, says the office is also treating allergy and asthma flares caused by heat alone and high ragweed counts.
The symptoms of an asthma flare are chest tightness, wheezing and coughing and a need to grab the rescue inhaler. With ragweed in the mix, patients are also suffering with itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose.
Bell says to talk with your doctor about proper medication use if symptoms persist. Bell also advises bathing after outdoor activities and especially before going to bed to remove pollen from the skin. Keeping windows and doors closed and opting for air conditioning instead.