Shekinah Pettway ‘14
Spring time is here and so are your allergies! According to researchers, this spring will be the worst allergy season ever, but why is this so? A study published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the length of ragweed, a plant whose pollen causes allergies, season in various areas of the U.S. increased by as much as 27 days between 1995 and 2009. Are the different lengths of ragweed the culprit? Instead, researchers say climate change is the reason for such a powerful coming allergy season. Because of the unusually warm weather this winter, the allergy season has come early this year and “hit with a wheezing vengeance!”
According to Doctor Stanley Fineman, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and an allergist at the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, “The seasons are getting longer—they’re starting earlier and pollens are getting released earlier.” Not only is weather the problem, but CO2, or carbon dioxide percentage is high in the air. It feeds plants and leads to a greater release of pollen, and sometimes that pollen is more potent and more allergenic than it was when there was less CO2 in the atmosphere.
So, the real question is…how can we avoid experiencing all the sneezing, runny noses, congestion, itching, etc.?
Here are some suggestions:
1. Know what triggers your allergies. You may not be experiencing symptoms from pollen and the air around you, but some factors could be mold or fungus, which are exacerbated by April showers
2. Keep your windows shut and try to stay inside on dry days. Once you have located the trigger to your symptoms it is best that you avoid them in any way possible
3. Get rid of all kitchen chemicals. Household cleaning items can aggravate or even cause both indoor and outdoor allergies.
a. Avoid Triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial soaps, which has been found to be the cause of many indoor allergies.
4. Watch what you eat. Your body’s immune system can identify a similarity between the proteins of pollen and the proteins of fruit. When your allergies are at their worst, it is best to eat leafy greens.
“Climate chaos is hammering for your health!” So try your best to do right for your body so that this allergy season can be a little less sneezy!”