2013 Allergy Season: Worst For Allergies Yet

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Ragweed is a common allergen. Photo by: Sarah777

The flowers are pretty, but ragweed is a common allergen. Photo by: Sarah777

We have made it through flu season, and are now entering allergy season, and guess what? Experts agree that just like this was an unusually severe flu season, this could be the worst season yet for allergy suffers. Just what you wanted to hear.

So why are people going to be suffering longer this year? It has to do with the global climate change and the weather. You won’t be alone in your suffering, as more than 35 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies, according to American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

Allergy Season: The Perfect Storm

Global climate change and weather have teamed up to bring us the ultimate long-lasting allergy season thus far. The global climate change brings to the table higher than normal carbon dioxide emissions, which tell plants to produce three to five times more pollen. A single ragweed plant can produce up to four billion pollen grains! The weather factor contributes to warmer temperatures and late winter precipitation which equals excess tree pollen, according to ABC News. This combination is setting the stage for the allergy season to start 14 days sooner and end 30 days later, around the end of October. Is it fall yet?

What Are Allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, occur during certain times of the year. Allergies are an abnormal immune response: When you are allergic to something, your immune system produces IgE antibodies to that specific allergen such as pollen, dust, or a food.  These antibodies then cause a release of chemicals such as histamines. Histamines act on the eyes, nose, throat, skin, lungs, and even the gastrointestional tract, causing the symptoms of an allergy:  sneezing, coughing, wheezing, runny nose and watery eyes.

Click to Read Page Two: Avoid the Sneeze of Allergens

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© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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