If you’re feeling like your allergies are getting worse with each passing year, you’re not imagining it and you’re not alone. Research shows that allergy season is becoming longer and more severe due at least in part to climate change. We review this research and how to reduce symptoms below.
About the Study
A study published in February of this year, entitled “Anthropogenic climate change is worsening North American pollen seasons,” sought to uncover how allergy season is changing over time and what the dominant driver of these changes is. Researchers used 60 North American stations that measure pollen counts as well as an ensemble of climate models in order to do so.
After collecting data from 1990 to 2018, researchers found an increase in the duration of pollen seasons by 20 days and an increase in pollen concentrations of 21% across North America. The climate models revealed that “human-caused climate change has already worsened North American pollen seasons, and climate-driven pollen trends are likely to further exacerbate respiratory health impacts in coming decades.”
COVID-19 & Allergy Season
It seems that the precautionary measures recommended by the CDC to slow the spread of COVID-19 may have been advantageous in other ways, as well. Masking up, washing hands and spending less time outdoors reportedly decreased allergy symptoms for many in 2020 and for the first half of 2021.
However, as vaccinations roll out and we see life return to normal, it’s likely that summer allergies are likely to hit hard once again. Because of this, it’s important to know how to reduce your exposure to allergens.
Strategies for Reducing Allergies
While you can continue to wear masks outdoors and wash hands as often as possible in order to reduce your exposure to outdoor allergens, there are other strategies you can try as well. The experts at Pinnacle ENT Associates recommend:
- Monitoring pollen counts online or on your local weather channel. Stay indoors with the windows shut when pollen counts are high.
- Shower and change clothes after spending time outdoors to prevent tracking allergens into your home.
- Delegate outside chores to someone without allergies, or hire a professional.
- Bathe indoor/outdoor pets as often as once a week.
For more information about preventing allergies when visiting Clark Park or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.