A significant area of Saharan Dust is reportedly moving towards the Gulf of Mexico and could potentially arrive next week. 

How will that impact people?

Two otolaryngologists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham say that there could be an uptick in sinonasal issues.

"Dust can definitely increase allergic triggers," says Jessica Grayson, M.D., assistant professor with the UAB Department of Otolaryngology. "This can increase nasal congestion, rhinorrhea and sneezing, as well as eye symptoms like itching and watering."

Do-Yeon Cho, M.D., associate professor with the department, explained that wearing a mask could be a quick remedy for many potential issues and recalls many dust storms living in South Korea.

"When I was living in South Korea, we had bad sand storms every spring and fall from the Gobi desert in China and we wore masks," Cho said. "This could be really bad for a lot of Americans, and just another reason that everyone should wear a mask."

For relief, Grayson said increased use of nasal irrigations—if the dust gets into the atmospheric levels where we come into contact with it—will be helpful.

"Avoid being outside in the short-term, if possible, if you have significant allergies," she said.

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