Monday, November 12, 2012

Grim future for allergy suffers; Pollen count to double by 2040

This may have been one of the most torturous years on record for allergy suffers, but we may be calling these the good old days by 2040. That's when allergy experts say pollen counts will more than double. 

“Climate changes will increase pollen production considerably in the near future in different parts of the country,” said Dr. Leonard Bielory “Economic growth, global environment sustainability, temperature and human-induced changes, such as increased levels of carbon dioxide, are all responsible for the influx that will continue to be seen.”

In the year 2000, pollen counts averaged 8,455. Fast forward to 2040, and these counts are anticipated to reach 21,735.

His study, being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy
Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI),  also found that the misery will begin earlier every year.

“In 2000, annual pollen production began on April 14, and peaked on May 1,” said Dr. Bielory. “Pollen levels are predicted to peak earlier on April 8, 2040."

An earlier report by the same researchers demonstrated an increase in ragweed pollen in a section of the country, from Texas to the Canadian border, over the past 25 years. This was associated with an increase of ragweed pollen by two to three weeks as one moves north.

ACAAI allergists recommend allergy sufferers begin treating their symptoms with over-the-counter or prescribed medications two weeks before symptoms usually start. They also suggest looking into  immunotherapy.

For allergy relief experts suggest:
  • Taking a shower, washing your hair and changing your clothes after being outdoors
  • Wear a mask when doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn. 
  • Keep windows and doors shut at home, and in your car during allergy season. 
  • Reduce indoor allergens with an air purifier for allergies with HEPA and carbon filtration for particles and airborne chemicals.
  • Get tested. You may find you're allergic to indoor and outdoor molds, dust, grasses, trees and more -- not just ragweed. More than two-thirds of seasonal allergy sufferers actually have year-round symptoms


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