Is it just me, or is the allergy season getting longer?
According to global experts, it seems that allergy season is getting longer and worse and we have global warming to blame. In a study published last month, provided evidence that temperature related changes have affected airborne allergens and pollen across the northern hemisphere. (1) The premise of the study is that climate change and the rise in global temperatures is altering ‘allergenic pollen biology’ across the northern hemisphere. The authors of the study compared more than 20 years of pollen exposure (both in duration and intensity) in 17 locations across three continents and found that 12 of the 17 locations, or 71% showed ’significant increases in seasonal cumulative pollen or annual pollen load’. While 11 of the 17 locations, or 65% showed a significant increase in pollen season duration. (1) The findings reveal that as temperatures continue to increase, the duration and severity of ‘aero allergenic’ pollen will continue to increase thus potentially affecting the health of the public around the globe.
Specific to the US, states in which allergies are already severe such as Alaska, North Carolina. and Illinois have been experiencing longer than usual ragweed pollen seasons which have left many cities engulfed in a yellow pollen haze, and causing allergy sufferers to stay indoors. (2) None of this is good news for the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from nasal allergies (3) The good news however, is that there are natural means to combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies! Using herbs such as Eye Bright, Nettle and Marshmallow Root to make tea could help address some of the symptoms caused by allergies and using local honey could also help the body better deal with local allergens and pollen. Additionally, making dietary changes in times of increased pollen activity to reduce the intake of foods that may elicit an allergic or sensitivity response, could lessen the histamines present in the body, which could help he or she better deal with inhalant allergens from the air.