Is Climate Change Making Your Allergies Worse?

Does it seem as though your seasonal allergies just keep getting worse? Do you feel like you’re suffering for longer than you used to? You’re not alone, and some experts believe climate change may be a primary cause.

We’re seeing a greater amount of pollen over longer periods of the year these days. And it’s not only the long-term sufferers who are having problems.

There’s a distinct jump in people experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms for the very first time. This is particularly true in the southwest and northwest United States, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

It makes sense if you think about it.

Climate change has the potential to affect many aspects of pollen and fungal spore production and dispersion. Changes in timing and amount of rainfall, wind patterns and other weather-related occurrences affect the composition of pollen, as well as how and when it’s released and transported.

“The climate and the weather has an impact on the start, the duration, and the intensity of allergy season,”¯ Dr. Tara Narula told CBS. “[Hotter weather] fuels the growth of plants, which means more pollen, earlier pollen, and pollen that stays around longer.”

Did you have seasonal allergies as a kid? Many of us did not, but we do now. Rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma become nearly intolerable for some during pollen season.

Those most vulnerable to the debilitating effects of pollen sensitivity include children, elderly and asthmatics. In fact, anyone with a breathing problem may find themselves suffering during allergy season. The fact that allergy season now extends longer than it once did makes the problem that much worse.

Climate change is doing more than increasing and lengthening our exposure to pollen, however. We’re experiencing more frequent storm activity and flooding — and all that moisture gives mold spores a rich environment in which to flourish.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Photo credit: Thinkstock

After a house is flooded, all its drywall and insulation has to be removed and aired out, due to mold concerns. And without professional home repairs, mold can grow exponentially, posing serious health concerns, from allergic reactions to lung disease.

Did climate change cause those hurricanes to form — or make them worse than they might have been? There’s no way to know for sure. But most scientists now believe that climate change is affecting humans in ways few imagined were possible only a few years ago.

Some fear we’re already past the tipping point. We may not be able to reverse the damage humanity has done — but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Tell your elected representatives you want action on climate change. If they won’t listen, vote them out and replace them with people who will.

Photo Credit: Yoksel Zok/Unsplash

46 comments

Ann B
Ann B12 days ago

YES it is obvious...and the extreme heat is making the pollen extreme

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Marija M
Marija Mabout a month ago

Yes, of course...tks for posting.

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Mark T
Mark Tabout a month ago

Ty.

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Dot A
Dot Aabout a month ago

Certainly, in the past I didn't have allergies, but, especially this spring the tears were streaming and my nose very runny, with very strong sneezes. Anyone is sold on the idea that this earth is not changing probably hasn't had a new idea in several decades. Life is movement, and our climate is moving into a different pattern, whether some folks can acknowledge that is not what will change our living. What will change is how we manage to survive in the coming decades, if we can,... By that time the nay-Sayers will have passed on anyway, so it really won't matter a hoot what they believe. What will matter far more than a hoot is how intelligently we accept this inconvenient truth. No one wants this. But, millions of years have created several devastating changes that probably those who lived then, didn't welcome, either. I believe we can help ourselves if we give it a serious effort. But, with so many in denial, how serious can the effort get???

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JinnySITEISSUES L
JinnySITEISSUES Labout a month ago

Yes, Climate change is making my allergies worse as well as many other things that are occurring due to climate change in the natural world.....time to get off your gadgets and actually see what's going on around you......and that means connecting and being attuned to the natural world.....It's a wake up call. Thanks for posting.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a month ago

No, it has nothing to do with "climate change".

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Angela AWAY K
Angela Kabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing

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Debbie B
Past Member about a month ago

no its not making my alergies worse b/c there is no such thing as climate change i thought people on this site were old enough to not belive in santa clause any more guess i was wrong people santa is not real or in this case climate change isnt real

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Patty L
Patty Langfordabout a month ago

of course. tyfs

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Winn A
Winnie Aabout a month ago

Yes it is . . . . .

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