Seasonal Allergies on the Rise – It isn't Just You, Achoo!
Are seasonal allergies disrupting your life and making you miserable? If so, you're not the only one! According to the latest studies, pollen productions are on an rise and experts are now linking it to global warming. The hotter the temperatures get, the longer the growing seasons for many of the allergens that cause allergic symptoms.
The longer the growing season and the production of more classes of super weeds (thanks to GMOS), the more people will be affected by it. It's highly probable that higher pollen counts will be around for many years to come!
There are 40 million+ allergy sufferer’s in the US alone. In the past few years, tree pollen has popped from buds earlier than in years past, prompting many people to feel the effects about three weeks earlier than usual.
Although this 'early release' has happened before, the last couple of years have been different. Trees are "exploding out their pollen" much earlier than usual. Many scientist's believe that climate change is the culprit.
Combined warmer weather and higher carbon dioxide levels over the past 15 years have caused tree pollen to emerge earlier and in greater quantities. Many locals in the US (like the Midwest and Southeast), have gradually experienced more frost-free days and the earlier arrival of spring over the past 20 years or so. This has also brought unusually mild winter for many folks!
As a result, many patients who suffer allergies to pollen from elm, cedar, silver maple and other trees have already begun to feel their seasonal allergies kick up earlier too.
Increasing Seasonal Allergies
According to the latest scientific estimates, the planet is expected to heat up between 2° and 4° this century alone. Allergy experts warn that the warmer temperatures will make pollen seasons worse altogether. This trend is likely to accelerate in the coming years.
Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, has been diagnosed in an estimated 14 percent of American adults, or nearly 40 million people, according to a recent survey. Another 3.5 percent of the population have allergies to food. Experts believe that the number of allergy sufferers is even greater because many never see a doctor.
Whether you actually have allergies is a case by case issue. Many people who develop allergies as an adult, may have also experienced an allergic episode earlier in life but do not remember it. Children who suffer from seasonal allergies tend to be less bothered by a runny nose than adults. For many people, allergies fade during adolescent years, but can sometimes return later with a vengeance. In some cases, adult allergy sufferers have no history of allergic sensitivity at all. In babies and toddlers, allergy symptoms most often present as eczema.
The substance that provokes an allergic reaction is called an 'allergen' or 'antigen'. Allergens can be foods, like milk, eggs, corn, fish, etc., or come from the surrounding environment, such as dust, animal dander, additives, chemicals, bacteria, or pollens. Any of these things can induce allergic reactions after being consumed, touched, or inhaled.
Over 40 million Americans suffer from allergies. Approximately 55 percent of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens. Seasonal allergies, which some people call 'hay fever', generally occur in the spring and fall when trees, grasses, and weeds bloom and release pollen into the air. Year-round allergy symptoms can be triggered by indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, and animal dander.
Ragweed is the number one trigger for fall and late summer allergies in the U.S. that can cause allergies. One ragweed plant alone can produce one billion pollen grains that can travel from 300 to 700 miles in the air. August 15th is the opening day for ragweed season, which is bad news for anyone who has ragweed allergies, and global warming could be making things worse.
Other types of allergies are also on the rise also. Some studies show that increased chemical pollution in our air, water, and food, is causing an escalated frequency and severity of allergic reactions among many people. Commercial foods now contain hundreds of hidden ingredients, both natural and synthetic, that can cause a wide variety of allergic reactions.
In a recent review, researchers describe various ways in which warmer temperatures impact asthma, allergies, and other respiratory disorders. One British study, (on hundreds of allergy causing plants), found that they flower an average of nearly 5 days earlier
now compared to a decade ago, and 10 percent flower 15 days earlier. These statistics indicate that allergy season’s are also getting longer.
Global warming is making pollen seasons longer and more concentrated. Other research shows that increased carbon dioxide gases are linked to a 60 percent - 90 percent rise in pollen production for some varieties of ragweed. Global warming is also expected to create more forest fires, which triggers more air pollution that makes asthma, seasonal allergies, and other respiratory disorders worse. All of these things, keep allergies on the rise.
To keep seasonal allergy
symptoms to a minimum, allergy sufferers should stay proactive. Keep windows closed during heavy pollen seasons, stay indoors during the middle of the day when pollen count is high, and wash clothes immediately after spending time outdoors. Find out how to treat them here
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Climate Change is Increasing Allergic Symptoms
The Rise of Spring Allergies - Fact or Fiction?
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