LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you find yourself having breathing troubles or worsening allergies during these hot summer months, experts say this heatwave may be to blame as it’s causing more pollution in our air.
Patrick Casale has a specific routine to keep his allergies at bay.
“I can’t afford to get sick. I’m getting older and I don’t want to end up seeing the doctor,” said Casale.
With this extreme heat, his allergies tend to flare up and the pollution doesn’t help either.
“In the summertime, your nose gets much drier because of the heat,” added Casale. “It’s important you keep your passages clean. Saline is the way to go.”
Steffen Lehmann is a professor of architecture and urbanism at UNLV, he has researched how excessive heat impacts cities.
He said during this heat wave, expect pollution to increase.
“Currently as you know we have a heat dome which is an area of high pressure and pushes the air towards the ground. It’s causing it to heat up and captures the polluted air and with a lack of ventilation, you can’t breathe. There’s no movement so the pollutants don’t get clear from the stagnant air,” explained Lehmann. “The ozone layer with air pollutants is building up at a ground level. It’s very dangerous, it’s one of the reasons why you see more healthy people get asthma or breathing difficulties.”
Our city’s infrastructure also re-emits the sun’s heat, making it hotter, Professor Lehmann says planting more trees will help provide relief and reduce air pollution.
“Not only street trees or gardens which is very good but also large leaf tree native species,” added Lehmann. “The native tree species will need more water but also large leaves will cast more shadows which is nice to see them with these trees and much more comfortable, but it cools down the surface of the city.”
As this heat wave continues to last, for those like Casale, allergy prevention is key.
“It’s very important especially as you get older to stay on top of these things because bronchitis can turn into pneumonia, I don’t need that.” said Casale.
While steering clear of allergens and pollution altogether may be difficult, especially if you enjoy being outside, try to limit outdoor activities and stay hydrated.