Be greater than your allergies
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE 2016 SPRING ALLERGY SEASON
Provided by The Weather Channel
Spring allergy season has arrived, which means now is the time to stock up on tissues, nasal sprays that block allergenic substances, like FLONASE® Allergy Relief, and anything else you use to beat the incoming "pollen vortex." A few factors, including the generally mild winter weather and the presence of El Niño in recent months, could mean that the 2016 spring allergy season will be worse than previous years.
El Niño’s Potential Effect
"In any year with an El Niño phenomenon, we expect certain areas of the country, particularly in the South, to be plagued by lots of rainfall and precipitation," Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder and medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York told weather.com. "Each year it’s different. If you look at the aerobiology, you have a lot of different pollen areas. There’s a lot of cities [in the South] that are hit hard each year during the spring allergy season."
As a result of El Niño and the wet winter many parts of the country saw, Dr. Bassett predicts, "we’re going to see very healthy root systems in trees and that nature. So when the season starts kicking in, the root systems are primed and they’re going to release pollen earlier."
A New Trend in Spring Allergies
In addition to El Niño's possible effect on this year's spring allergy season, Dr. Bassett also pointed to an overarching trend: the spring allergy season has been inching up on our calendars for
"In general, over the last ten years or more, we’ve seen an earlier start to the spring allergy season by about two weeks," Dr. Bassett said. "Each year is different. You’re mostly seeing a longer season spring through fall because of warmer temperatures.
How Climate Change Can Affect Pollen
Dr. Bassett also pointed to climate change, which sets off its own chain reaction where pollen and allergies are concerned. "[Climate change] is causing more carbon dioxide in our environment, which in turn tells a lot of plants to produce more pollen, and the pollen itself is more supercharged and more powerful."
The bottom line? According to Dr. Bassett, some parts of the country can look forward to a spring allergy season that starts as early as mid-February. If you live in a part of the country that has seen a particularly wet and mild winter, start preparing for spring allergies sooner rather than later. Your nose will thank you.