Do you feel that your allergies are getting worse with every passing year? If so, you’re not alone. People with allergies across the country are suffering from the effects of longer, more intense pollen seasons thanks to climate change, as one recent study has shown.
About the Study
Researchers from universities across the nation measured pollen counts across North America from 1990 to 2018. They found that allergy season has increased by 20 days and that pollen concentrations have increased by 21% in this timeframe.
The researchers also sought to identify the driver behind these changes. They used climate models to test whether climate change is to blame and confirmed that it is, in fact, the driver of these changes in duration and severity of allergy season.
According to the study authors, “Our results indicate 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.”
This study, “Anthropogenic climate change is worsening North American pollen seasons,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) in February 2021.
The Effect of COVID-19 on Allergy Symptoms
For many, the severity of the past year’s allergy season was offset by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to spending more time indoors, wearing masks outdoors and washing hands more frequently. These practices help limit contact with allergens.
While the COVID-19 guidelines have offered temporary relief from the most severe allergy symptoms, these precautions are on their way out due to the vaccination rollout. It won’t be long until we’re all feeling the full effects of allergy season once again.
Tips for Preventing Allergy Symptoms
Just as COVID-19 precautionary practices have helped reduce exposure to allergens, we recommend continuing to limit yourself to substances that trigger symptoms. For example:
- Check local pollen counts online or on your local weather channel. Stay indoors with the windows closed when they are high.
- Shower and change clothing right after spending time outdoors.
- Delegate yardwork to someone without allergies, or hire a professional landscaper.
- Wash bedding regularly.
- Bathe indoor/outdoor pets once a week (but not more, as this can dry out their skin and fur).
- Schedule an appointment for an allergy test to determine what you’re allergic to.
If you’re ready to enjoy the Griffith Park trails without suffering from allergy symptoms, call the experts at The House Institute today!