Allergy season to start earlier, be harsher, research suggests

Start could be as much as 40 days earlier due to global warming, study says

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File) (Brynn Anderson, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Future allergy seasons will start more than a month earlier and be much more intense due to climate change, according to a new study.

And because spring is already in the air, so is pollen.

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Dr. Sandra Hong, an allergist at Cleveland Clinic, said pollen season usually begins mid-February, but a new study published in Nature Communications stated that by the end of the century the season of high pollen counts could begin as much as 40 days earlier than previous decades because of global warming.

Researchers also said annual pollen counts could climb by up to 250%.

Hong said she’s already seeing allergy seasons change.

“Right now we are in the high pollen counts with trees,” Hong said. “Our pollen seasons are lasting longer. We’ve definitely have had a couple years where our allergies are the worst I can remember in the last 20 years.”

That’s why she said it’s important to be aware of your allergies now when symptoms are starting.

Look at pollen counts before going outdoors, and if you have a pet that goes outside, don’t bring them into your bed.

Additionally, if you know you suffer from allergies, consider using your medicine now.

“If we know that we have allergies in the spring time, sometimes the nasal steroids can be really effective and our No. 1 treatment for allergies and usually we’ll use the antihistamines as needed for itching and sneezing types of symptoms,” Hong said.

Dr. Hong said to make sure you keep windows closed this time of year to keep pollen from coming into the home, shower before bed to wash the pollen off and change clothes.

If over-the-counter medication isn’t working, it’s time to see a doctor.