Select a Topic
- What are Regional Allergies?
- Common Allergens in Hawaii
- Symptoms of Hawaii Regional Allergies
- Diagnosing Hawaii Regional Allergies
- Treatment for Hawaii Regional Allergies
What are Regional Allergies?
Regional allergies vary depending on the part of the country you live in. Different regions contain different plants and trees that pollinate at different times of the year. The more you know about allergens common to your area and when they are the most troublesome, the easier it is to prevent and treat associated allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies in Hawaii are particularly problematic due to the tropical climate and abundance of pollen producing flowers and trees that bloom year round. The warm climate also makes outdoor mold another problem for allergy sufferers. Hawaii ranks second highest in the nation for childhood asthma. Pollution caused by car traffic and wind patterns that carry dust and pesticide residues are also problems in some parts of Hawaii.
Common Allergens in Hawaii
Hawaii's biggest allergen is mold. In most climates, mold spores are only airborne for a few months; however, in Hawaii the temperate climate cause molds to persist throughout the year. Fog from volcanoes called “vog” is also bothersome, particularly to those with asthma. Hawaii has a wide array of flowers and trees that bloom throughout the year. In addition, from May to November, air pollution is worse in Maui due to wind patterns and the burning of crops and garbage. Kauai has less exposure to volcanic air, but has the wettest climate, worsening exposure to molds.
Symptoms of Hawaii Regional Allergies
Hawaii regional allergies result in hay fever type symptoms like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, congestion and sinus inflammation. Other symptoms can include headaches, allergic cough, irritability and asthma. Bronchitis and asthma are particularly problematic in areas near volcanoes.
Diagnosing Hawaii Regional Allergies
Regional allergies, also called seasonal allergies or hay fever, are usually season-based; however, allergies are problematic year-round in Hawaii due to the tropical climate. In other areas, pollution is also a problem, particularly near cane fields where pesticide residues can become airborne.
For those living in the region, skin tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis of regional allergies. Skin tests involve placing a tiny amount of potential allergens just beneath the skin. If allergies are present, there will be a raised bump or minor skin irritation present at the site within fifteen to thirty minutes. Once the sources of allergies are determined, a personalized treatment and management plan can be established.
Help for Hawaii Regional Allergies
Severe regional allergies are often treated with immunotherapy, a series of allergy shots that build up tolerance to allergy triggers. After allergy testing is complete, a personalized serum is developed and shots are given at regular intervals to build resistance naturally over time.
Hawaii is a large tourist destination. For those who do not live in the region and are just visiting, consider natural ways to reduce exposure to allergens. Always remove clothing and shoes after coming indoors and shower right away to remove any pollen particles remaining on hair and skin. If you suffer an allergy attack, antihistamines can be used to treat them.