If you’re like me and suffer from seasonal allergies, that means at certain times of the year you’ve got a box of tissues within reach at all times. It seems like the stuffiness and the sneezing get worse every year, and studies are beginning to show that this increase in the effectiveness of pollen may be contributed to global warming.
Some see the reason for the increase in pollen and allergens as the result of extended periods of warmth. Trees and flowers have begun starting their blooming processes earlier and earlier, causing the spring pollen season to start earlier as well. This also seems to hold true for ragweed season in the fall, and as the pollen from these things hangs around longer, it seems to be eliciting a stronger allergic response.
The rising heat levels, as well as the higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, may also be causing those plants that produce pollen to produce pollen at an increased rate. Studies have shown that the rise in global temperatures has caused ragweed to flower earlier and produce more pollen.
There appears to be a direct correlation between the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to longer and more intense allergy seasons. Some reports say that by the end of the century, ragweed production could increase by 320%. To add insult to injury, it is also becoming apparent that climate change may result in increased ozone pollution, which will complicate things for those who already suffer from allergies.
If your symptoms become more than you can handle, you should speak with your physician about medicines and remedies you can pursue. But beyond that, it is just best to avoid pollen and keep it out of the home on high pollen days. You can do this by taking your shoes off before you enter the home, and especially washing your clothes and hair after being exposed to pollen for long periods of time.
You should also check the level of ozone in your area, which can be done at AirNow When there are higher levels of ozone, it is best to have the kids play outdoors in the morning and in the evening.
The best way to combat the rising levels of pollen in the air during spring and fall is to cut back on energy consumption. In the short term, this may not have a direct effect on you, but unless you want your grandchildren to suffer 320% more than you are right now, it may be time to make a change.