Air quality alert continues, what to know about the Saharan dust

Dr. Rachael Kermis said the hazy skies are going to continue affecting air quality, causing nasal congestion and irritation in the lungs.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:48 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The air quality alerts continue in our areas as the Saharan dust makes its way into Louisiana and Texas.

“We are having tons of people come in with flares of allergies,” said Dr. Rachael Kermis, a Family Medicine Doctor at Baton Rouge General.

Dr. Rachael Kermis said the hazy skies are going to continue affecting air quality, causing nasal congestion and irritation in the lungs.

“If you are someone with underlying lung problems like asthma or COPD, or just really prone to getting that annoying congestion in the fall or the spring, that is something that we want you to keep an eye out for,” said Kermis.

Kermis said these symptoms can mimic COVID symptoms.

“Mainly with COVID, because it is an actual infection your body’s trying to fight off, you would have more chance of a fever with it,” said Kermis. “With the allergies, you do not get that as much.”

She recommends taking Claritin, Zyrtec and using saline rinses to wash out particles in your nose. Over-the-counter medications will help with sinus headaches coughing and sneezing. Experts also recommend you shower at night to remove dust particles in your hair and body before bed.

“I think the message is to be aware of how you are feeling and if anything doesn’t feel right to you, come see your doctor, come see your nurse practitioner,” said Kermis.

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