Flowers open and temperatures rise, which can only mean one thing: the allergy season is just around the corner.
Several states, including Illinois, North Carolina and Tennessee, are already reporting an increase in patients complaining about itching, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.
meteorologists predict that 2019 may be the worst year ever for allergies and the culprit is pollen.
Pollen numbers have risen all over the country and according to the National allergy card, half of the country experiences high levels, much earlier than normal for this time of year.
Experts say that climate change with milder winters and much more rain is the reason why the pollen season starts earlier – with some suggesting that in the future it could lead to people with worse symptoms.
About eight percent of American adults 18 and older suffer from hay fever due to pollen allergies. Pictured: yellow pollen haze turns the sky yellow in Durham, North Carolina, in April 2019
About half of the US experiences a lot of pollen, the fine powder of flowering plants much earlier than usual for this time of year. Pictured: pollen haze covered Durham, North Carolina in April 2019
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system regards a substance as harmful and reacts too strongly to it.
Reactions can be mildly annoying from sneezing and watery eyes to life-threatening, such as anaphylactic shock, when blood pressure suddenly drops and the airways narrow, preventing someone from breathing normally.
Having a pollen allergy means that you experience an allergic reaction to a powder that occurs on flowering plants.
Because pollen is microscopically large – less than 0.007 inches – it can travel far distances and is easily inhaled deep into the lungs.
Grass and tree pollen are usually released between April and May, while pollen from weeds, such as ambrosia, comes in June and July.
WHAT IS HAY FEVER?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, a fine powder that comes from plants.
There is more pollen in the air in the spring and summer when plants bloom.
The reaction usually occurs when pollen comes in contact with a person’s eyes, nose, mouth or throat.
- To sneeze
- Running nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
People with allergies can use self-care medication, wash clothes regularly and vacuum and vacuum indoors.
Avoiding grass, cut flowers, and smoke can help reduce symptoms, as can drying clothes indoors where pollen is less likely to stick.
Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, about eight percent of American adults 18 and older suffer from hay fever, the allergic reaction to pollen.
Most symptoms can be treated with freely available antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin, but these cost the US between $ 3.4 billion and $ 11.2 billion annually in “direct medical costs,” reported Vox.
In recent days, parts of the US – especially the Southeast and the Midwest – have had so much pollen that a thick haze has been observed over the sky.
Experts say that pollen from different plants has appeared earlier each year earlier, making the season longer.
According to an study from the Environmental Protection Agency, the polling season with ragweed increased by nearly 20 days in the last 10 years in states such as Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
According to some estimates, the number of pollen is expected to double – even triple – compared to 2000.
Scientists from Rutgers University calculated that the average number of pollen in 2000 was approximately 8,500 grains per cubic meter of air. It is expected to reach nearly 22,000 by 2040 pellets per cubic meter of air.
Moreover, according to Climate central, the production of ambrosia had a concentration of 370 parts per million in 2000. By 2060 this is expected to rise to 600 parts per million.
Dr. Sandra Hong, a staff allergist at Cleveland Clinic, told DailyMail.com that climate change – including warmer and milder weather with heavy rainfall – causes more pollen to be produced for longer.
She adds that as pollen counts, possibly increases, this can lead to worsening symptoms for patients.
Experts say the reason for the early pollen season is climate change, including rising temperatures and lots of rain. Pictured: Clouds push pollen over Durham, North Carolina, in April 2019
An allergist told DailyMail.com that as the number of pollen increases, the severity of people’s allergies will deteriorate in the future. Pictured: Rain falls in April 2019 over a pollen field in Durham, North Carolina
“You won’t necessarily have more people with allergies – because people are susceptible to it – but people’s symptoms will be considerably worse,” she said.
So what can people with allergies do to limit their symptoms this season?
Dr. Hong recommends whether you are in your house or in your car to keep the windows closed and use air conditioning instead.
“I tell people to make sure that if they have seasonal allergies, the windows stay closed and use the AC to recirculate air instead of bringing in pollen from outside, “she said.
She also suggests taking a shower before bedtime to get rid of pollen and discourages pets sleeping in the same bed.
“Pets coming from outside can take pollen with them, so people with allergies can get symptoms as a result,” said Dr. Hong.
And although the symptoms can often be controlled with freely available nasal sprays and antihistamines, she recommends consulting a doctor if the condition deteriorates.
“If evasive techniques and drugs don’t work and they are still doing worse, they should go to a doctor or an allergist,” Dr. said. Hong.