From the Washington Post: Across the country, pollen season is starting earlier and intensifying because of rising global temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations. Previous research showed that pollen season lengthened by 20 days over the past three decades across North America, while pollen concentrations increased by 21 percent. The most affected places were the U.S. Southeast and Midwest.
Yes, my seasonal and year around allergies are worse than ever. Lexi too!
I use the following products:
ketotifen eye drops
cetrizine allergy tablets
Lots of kleenex for sneezes
- *Only two require a prescription
And a recent study said pollen season could get much worse by the end of the century. Pollen season could start as much as 40 days earlier in the spring and last up to 19 days longer than it does today under a high greenhouse gas emission scenario. Pollen levels could also triple in some parts of the United States.
Warmer temperatures can shift the growing season earlier and extend it longer, as well as help plants produce more pollen. Higher levels of carbon dioxide can also aid photosynthesis, so plants produce more pollen, although more research is needed to understand the future increase.
“When people are exposed to the allergen, it triggers a cascade of events in their body. Their system releases various chemicals, such as histamine, that can cause symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes,” Fineman said.
With longer and more intense pollen seasons, he said, his patients tend to have more complications, such as sinus infections and asthma. Studies also show the burden to medically treat allergies costs billions of dollars, while other studies show allergy sufferers miss millions of workdays in a year.The United States will experience a 200 percent increase in total pollen for the most extreme greenhouse gas emissions scenario. With pledges and measures to lower greenhouse gas emissions, though, some climate scientists say somewhat lower emissions are more plausible.
Anderegg previously conducted a study showing how climate change has affected pollen season across the nation from 1990 to 2018. He found the amount of pollen in the air is at least 8 percent worse because of human-caused climate change. At least half of the trend in earlier pollen seasons is also due to human-caused climate change.