Lubbock allergist says think prevention when dust blows

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With extreme winds and blowing dust today, are you feeling less than your best tonight?           

A new study from Korea, which followed more than 10,000 people with allergies or asthma, found a connection between that and heart disease.           

Scientists believe the common link is inflammation... which can be triggered by allergies.          

So on a day when the dust is blowing... hard... what is in all that wind, and could that leave us coughing or worse?          

That’s a question we took to an allergist at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dr. James Tarbox.          

Millions of Americans are allergic to dust mites. That tiny creature lives in house dust.          

But a dust storm is different because it carries a lot of different problems as it blows across our homes.         

Dr. Tarbox says, “Obviously, a lot of dirt and debris and bacteria, viruses, all sorts of stuff get kicked up in the air pollen.”         

He adds that this last month has been a lot dustier than in previous years. However, he says it helps to get through this season by planning. He says try to stay indoors as much as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Shower when you come inside, and if your pet comes in, bathe him too. And try to use saline to rinse out some of the debris that blows into the nose. He says those rinses are easy to find over the counter.         

Also, he says to ask your doctor if you would benefit from taking a nasal steroid or inhaler.          

But, he has one suggestion that would help everybody, especially since we’ve done it before.         

He says, “So on a day like this, where there’s just a lot of debris and small particles in the air, a mask could be beneficial. It’ll cover your nose, cover your mouth, prevent that stuff from getting into your nose and lungs.”

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