From one of our readers
My family and I suffer from both outdoor and indoor allergies. I wanted to know if moving to a moisturized climate would be better for us? — Lola, California
A different reader writes
Eighteen months ago I moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Naples, Florida and am in the midst of a bronchial infection caused from sinus drainage. This condition has been ongoing for six weeks now.
I wonder now if it was such a wise idea to move from a high desert climate to reclaimed land that was once a large swamp? The torrential rainfall we have here in southwest Florida probably doesn’t help — Lewis, Florida
Most people find that allergy symptoms lessen in dryer climates or seasons, and worsen with increased humidity. Increased humidity promotes mold spore growth and provides an ideal environment for dust mites. It is also harder to breathe as the barometer goes up. Those of us in more humid areas are often helped by a using dehumidifier continually during high moisture seasons. You can read about my own experience with a dehumidifier here.
However, a humidifier is sometimes prescribed on a temporary basis to soothe the airways and help loosen secretions of chronic infection or other special needs. Unless specifically ordered by your physician, humidifiers should not be run continually because they can promote growth of mold and dust mites. Talk with your physician about what is best for you.
It is always good to spend time in an area you are considering moving to. Visit during different seasons. Even so, there is no sure way to determine how your body will react to the new climate once you move there.
One of our patients who moved to a drier climate a few years ago found that she did not need to continue her shots there at first. But eventually symptoms worsened to the point that she started allergy injections again.
Others have told me that changing climates relieved their symptoms and eliminated their need for injections.
One of our sponsors, National Allergy Supply, has an excellent selection of dehumidifiers as well as a germ-killing humidifier. They also have an excellent reputation as a professional company with down-home values, and I am proud to be able to recommend their products to you.
[Originally posted to AllergyNursing.com on October 20, 2003]