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Old 09-02-2010, 02:13 PM
 
509 posts, read 1,363,568 times
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I am moving in 2-3 weeks from the Pacific NW to the Phoenix area. I've already made the decision, the monetary deal is done, and I am packing. I have severe lung issues (including PCD - primary ciliary dyskenesia - and a history of pneumonia). These issues became severe after moving to the Pacific Northwest.

I grew up in the L.A. Basin, and lived in the Inland Empire (Claremont area) for many years. The "Santa Anas" never bothered me (stuff blowing in off the desert).

Now I am concerned about "valley fever," "dust storms," and just a little bit the pollution. I grew up in pollution so that's not the major issue.

I kept reading about people's issues improving dramatically almost immediately after moving to the Phoenix basin. I guess I can always wear a good HEPA mask when the dust storms happen. I'm also planning to spend August and either July or September in the PNW to escape the heat.

Anyone from the Arizona/Sonora Desert area care to enlighten me about their own or experiences they've heard of? I'm not too concerned, but I just read up on Valley Fever and have learned that it is not something to mess with.

Thanks.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 07-18-2013 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I had valley fever. I had a cough for months. My lungs were healthy though. Also a lot of people have valley fever and never show any symptoms.
I never saw dust storms in Arizona.
I am not sure what is best for your medical conditions but I always though dry weather was better for lung issues.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Can you tell me what your experience was like? VF is certain to affect my lungs since they are quite compromised. I can't believe your lungs were healthy!

That's what I've heard (about dry weather). I'm pretty sure it is quite accurate.

I'm just thinking of dust and the valley fever spore. I'll just be careful and make sure that I'm taking care of my lungs extra well.

(would still like other input!)
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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I've lived in Phoenix for many years. Yes, Valley Fever is a reality, but not one that afflicts much damage in most people. Most people get over it and move on. There are meds, too, for it. In some folks, it can linger on, but I'm not sure about the stats on it and why or who is most likely in that group. Like anything, maybe a who knows.
Going outdoors most of the year presents no hazard. It's only more likely when dust is flying in the monsoon season--from July to late August usually. And, it's not always flying those months. Just when a storm comes through. It's not really windy here either, normally.
As long as you're not messing with the dirt a lot, digging and stirring up the dirt in other ways, you should be fine.
You hear about it more likely with construction workers, people who remodel their homes and are stirring up a lot of dust, landscapers. Even dogs can get it, probably from digging and ones who are out a lot.
There are many elderly people living here who have compromised hearts/lungs, but I haven't heard of it being more of a problem for that population.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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Thank you! I'll be sure to wear a mask while hiking or walking in the hills/mountains. It sucks, but being really sick sucks worse
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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If you could handle living in Claremont you can absolutely handle living in the Phoenix area! Absolutely. (Former L.A. basin person myself. And I have asthma.) When people start talking about the bad air here I have to laugh to myself. Because it will never give good ol' L.A. smog a run for its money.

Dust storms: Be aware that they do come up. I've only had one in my area in four years of living here and it was a doozy. Could not see the houses across the street. Thick and brown and pretty awe-inspiring. You will see coverage of them on the news but the whole "Valley of the Sun" is not hit at the same time.

There are a lot of particulates in the air. Which means good old dust from the desert. (We have a ton of un-paved roads up here in my area.) Some days are worse than others and they have "no burn" days because of it. (Warnings go out via the media. Last Christmas was a "no burn" day so no fire in the fireplace.)

Some days have a high level of ozone. A "high level of ozone watch" is issued. You will know a couple of days before one is issued so you can plan for it.

While Valley Fever is a concern you can also get it in L.A. I don't spend my nights worrying about it.

Like I said, the air here is nuttin' compared to Claremont/Pomona.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:05 PM
 
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Default Valley fever: An incurable illness in the dust

For anyone living in one of the areas at risk, be aware:

BBC News - Valley fever: An incurable illness in the dust
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:56 PM
 
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whoops, sorry, didn't realize a thread has already existed; still an informative article tho.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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I've lived here in the Phoenix desert area since 1963 and never had an VF issue. I worked in the outdoors over 60% of the time. VF can effect people in different ways and very few come down with symptoms. That's not to say you won't, but the trade off for other health issues like arthritis is worth living here.
We do get dust storms annually during the monsoon season (June-July-Aug). They're called 'haboobs', they arrive generally in the late afternoon and yes you stay inside or wear a mask outside when one strikes. If you're digging up soil or anything that makes dust from disturbing the soil then you should take precaution and wear a mask or stay inside.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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We lived in Tucson for twenty years - no valley fever. They usually just treat with diflucan, an antifungal.
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