SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Saharan Dust Plume is creating some beautiful sunsets. But this dust isn’t only bringing these views, but also some medical challenges for people with respiratory issues.
The Saharan Dust Plume has made it’s way into the Coastal Empire. Doctors in our area say some may already be experiencing symptoms from the dust.
“Sneezing is the first line defense when you encounter an impurity so it’s the body’s effort to remove it rapidly so you would see sneezing and see more congestion, but possibly runny nose and watery eyes,” said Dr. Jack Eades, Allergist at Southern Allergy and Asthma.
While the Saharan Air Layer is nothing new, this one is being called historic for its dust concentration. Dr. Eades says most people will notice a change because of the plume, but says those most at risk are people with respiratory issues like asthma and allergies.
He is an allergist and says COVID-19 has downplayed how this might impact some, but those at risk need to be aware.
“I think they are going to be better served if they stay inside in the immediate future with the air conditioning on and if they have substantial respiratory disease I think that what I mentioned earlier about carrying your rescue inhaler is going to be very important because you don’t know how one might actually react to it. Fortunately, a lot of the dust will be much higher than the level that we’re going to be standing on.”
While it may not be obvious in our skies, it is noticeable if you look closely.
Dr. Eades says an over the counter nasal saline can help some, but for those at risk it’s best to be prepared and talk to your doctor if things get serious.
“Forewarned is forearmed, but don’t hesitate to see your physician or if you’re having an asthma exacerbation straight away go to the emergency room for proper treatment.”
Our First Alert Meteorologists say the worst of the dust is expected to move out by Saturday with better conditions on Sunday