If you’re feeling like allergy season keeps getting worse each year, you’re not wrong. It actually is — and the reason may surprise you: climate change.
That’s according to a new study from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), which found that climate change may have exacerbated this year’s “allergy explosion,” NBC reports.
“Some research has suggested that the warming trend that we have in our environment is causing the pollen seasons to start a little bit earlier, and extend a little bit longer," Stanley Fineman, former president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, told NBC. "Consequently, patients are suffering because they're exposed to pollen, for longer periods of time.”
According to the study, allergy season is lasting nearly a full month longer than it did in past years because certain allergens thrive in warmer, wetter climates, NBC reports.
Rising temperatures have also led to greater amounts of pollen and spores circulating in the air, according to AAAAI’s website.
“Climate change, globalization, air pollution, and over-sanitization of the environment in the early years of life are just a few of the causes that, taken together, have introduced new allergens into our environment causing needless suffering," allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett said.
Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the air are particularly dangerous for people who suffer from asthma, and can have a greater effect on “susceptible populations, such as children or the elderly,” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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