Your Healthy Family

Mar 28, 2013 10:26 AM by Marissa Torres

Global Warming & Allergies

If you're Spring time allergies seem to be starting earlier than ever, you're not alone. Doctors say they're already seeing a surge in allergy sufferers- and you could be in store for a rough year.

It used to be that Janet Clement wouldn't need a box of tissues nearly until well into spring. But that's changed.

Her allergies have gotten so bad, that barely into the new year, she decided to see a specialist.

"You don't typically don't have allergies in the winter so that's really a reason I came back, is to try to figure out what's going on there."

To find out, Janet went to see allergy experts at National Jewish Health in Denver.

Doctors say at least part of Janet's change may be due to climate change.

"With the increased temperature, may plants tend to pollinate earlier in the season," says Dr. Richard Weber.

Dr. Weber is an allergist and researcher who says there may be debate over what's causing climate change, but there's no doubt it's happening.

Temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are both on the rise and if you have allergies, you may be paying the price.

At pollen collection stations like this around the world, researchers are finding a similar trend.

Dr. Weber recently published a study on global warmings impact on allergies, nothing that - 385 plant species in Europe are blooming earlier than ever. And in the US and Canada, ragweed season is nearly a month longer.

"... And not only that, they're producing more pollen. So pollen counts are going up and in some cases , dramatically so."

Unfortunately Dr. Weber says it'll be that way for decades to come. So if you have seasonal allergies, be ready for some seasons to last longer and some allergies to come on on stronger.

News 5 checked in with health experts with Pueblo's Southern Colorado Clinic to see just how bad allergies are getting. We learned people are starting to fill the clinic with the typical stuffy nose, headache and fever.

Right now Southern Colorado has high levels of Juniper, Maple and Elm.

 

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