You're walking around with a wad of tissues stuffed up your nose, you’re sneezing so much people have stopped saying ‘bless you,’ and every morning, you wake up to a layer of yellow pollen coating your car. If you're feeling like allergy season sucks more and more each year, you're not alone—and you're not mistaken.
According to an article published by Lancet Planetary Health, climate change is, in fact, making allergy season worse. The study looked at data from 17 locations across three continents, dating back an average of 26 years. The conclusion is bad news for America’s 20 million allergy sufferers: thanks to rising temperatures, pollen loads and durations have been increasing over the past two decades. The higher carbon dioxide levels stimulate plants’ growth rates, which increases pollen production and creates a longer growing season. In other words, we’re living in the perfect pollen storm—there’s more of it, and it’s going to stick around for even longer.
And unless carbon dioxide emissions start dropping dramatically, experts predict things will get worse—and not just for current allergy sufferers. The pollen uptick means people who don't normally have pollen allergies may start to develop symptoms, too.
As pollen-plagued springs become the new norm, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid seasonal allergy symptoms. Before you move into a bubble full-time, try out a few preventative allergy hacks, or schedule a same-day, no-wait visit at your neighborhood ZOOM clinic.