Climate change spurs longer allergy season, study says

Written by on June 10, 2021

 Climate change spurs longer allergy season, study says

By Megan Frank

June 10, 2021

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

These days, people who sneeze and wheeze a lot during allergy season in the spring and fall are likely to suffer about 20 days longer than in previous years. That’s according to a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences. 

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Dr. Robert Zemble, with Allentown Asthma and Allergy, says warmer temperatures that occur with climate change allow plants to pollinate longer.

“As we’ve had more global warming, we’ve had more frost-free days, and that extended pollen season,” Zemble says, “So, the tree season will start earlier in the spring and the ragweed season will end later in the fall.”

Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and air pollution, Zemble says, also contribute to more intense allergy seasons. Carbon dioxide can make plants bloom more, which results in more pollen.

Zemble, who is also the division chief of allergy at Lehigh Valley Health Network, offers this advice for allergy sufferers: 

“Before you’re miserable, have your plan in place for what you’re going to do for the allergy season,” he advised.

When pollen counts are high, Zemble recommends that people who are sensitive keep windows closed and stay inside.

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