Local Allergist Controls What He Can, Not What He Can’t, Amidst Growing Air Pollution
With deadly, non-communicable diseases from ambient air pollution on the rise, physicians cannot come to a consensus on how to help their patients achieve better health, writes Kevin Kunzmann for MD Magazine.
Dr. Andrew Murphy – an award-winning allergist with practices in West Chester, Coatesville, and Kennett Square – gives little consideration to the environmental issues that can be found just a short distance away in Philadelphia, which is regarded as one of the most polluted regions in the Northeast.
“I know there’s some data through the years that shows when people are closer to high-population areas there are greater asthma rates,” said Murphy. “I live in a more suburban-rural area, so I don’t see it as much.”
He believes it’s more feasible to emphasize the monitoring of allergens.
He instructs his asthma patients to routinely check the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality tracking site, AirNow.gov. If a patient suggests they are having more issues with symptoms, he tells them to switch therapies or use non-medication measures to manage it.
What he does not tell them is to get away from areas of higher pollution.
“I don’t have any control over the ozone count today,” Murphy said. “It’s just the way of an allergist – I’m trying to control allergens.”
He focuses more on addressing things he can change, such as indoor pollutants like smoking, and has become more engaged with issues caused by seasonal pollen.
Read more about Andrew Murphy’s work in MD Magazine here.
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