Think every year is your worst allergy season ever? It’s not your imagination, Vox reported. This really could be the worst one, and each year gets worse. Experts are blaming climate change for ever higher concentrations of pollen in the air.
More people are complaining about increasingly severe allergies than ever before and this is only being enhanced by changes in the average temperature.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported that since 1995 the duration of allergy season has been extended by 11 days to 27 days, thanks to warmer temperatures that create more pollen in the air, stronger airborne allergens and more allergy symptoms.
It is estimated that at least 50 million Americans experience nasal allergies and, as health officials and scientists scramble to provide some relief to those suffering at the hands of an escalating pollen count, they have started analyzing the climate and its impact.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, there are three main factors related to climate change that increases allergens.
Carbon dioxide is a main culprit because, as the primary cause of a warming planet, it increases the growth rate of plants and leads to increases in the amount and potency of pollen.
Fueling this are rising temperatures, which extend the plant growing season and the duration of allergy season.
The entire situation is compounded by an extended spring season, which alters the amounts of blooms and fungal spores that are known to exacerbate allergy symptoms.
The bad news is that allergies may only get worse over time, with researchers estimating that pollen counts of all varieties will double by 2040 in some parts of the country, Vox said.
So how does your city fare when it comes to living with allergies?
AAFA found that the top five most challenging places to live with spring allergies are McAllen, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee and San Antonio, Texas.
“Our Spring Allergy Capitals report is a valuable tool to help identify cities where seasonal allergy symptoms can create challenges,” said Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of AAFA.
“This report helps people in these areas be more aware of what may contribute to their allergy symptoms so they can work with their health care providers to get relief. With the right treatment plan, seasonal allergies can be managed for better quality of life.”
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