Sunday, April 14, 2024

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Allergies Have Been Horrible This Year

I am usually bothered by allergies during early spring and early fall. So, twice a year I spend a week or two with itchy eyes, sneezing, and mild headaches. This year, though, it’s been especially rough. And it doesn’t look like I’m the only one.

I’ve spent more money on 24-hour Equate allergy pill this year than I ever have. And this is coming from someone who rarely leaves the house.

Instead of a two-week issue this spring, it’s been more than two months.

Climate Change Affecting Allergies?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, AAFA, climate change is playing a role in how we feel this year.

For instance, warmer temperatures cause flowers to bloom much earlier than normal. That’s because the climate essentially convinces flowers that it’s time to act.

In fact, cherry blossoms appeared earlier in Japan in 2021 than they have in over 1,200 years!

In general, there is a concern that the changing temperatures can prompt people who’ve never had allergies before to suddenly develop them. That’s because the pollen count in the atmosphere is much higher in 2021 than it has been in past years.

Allergies can get so bad that they can trigger an asthma attack. Although I’m not too concerned about myself, my oldest daughter had a rough childhood thanks to asthma. So, it does cause a bit of concern for me.

If you’re curious about the air quality before going for a run in your local area, consult the AQI (Air Quality Index).

COVID Restrictions?

Some experts believe that restrictions put in place during 2020 have helped exacerbate how we feel allergies.

If you’re in an area that was truly under lock-down, you may not have been exposed to the pollen in the air. Then, when you are affected, you “think” it’s worse because of the lapse between attacks.

Another aspect is being in lock-down sheltered you from the exposure, and with the pollen count indeed increasing, you’re hit much harder than normal.

Temperatures and Early Spring

No matter how you slice it, though, Spring did come much earlier than normal for many parts of the world. Not only did warmer temperatures cause flowers to bloom earlier, but the current heatwave is wreaking havoc on much of the Earth.

It started with many pointing at glaciers receding a decade ago. Now, we’re up to permafrost melting, more wildfires, and severe droughts.

These are elements that cannot be refuted by people trying to call climate change a hoax, or that it’s not as serious as scientists claim. But when it gets nearly as hot in Siberia as it is in Death Valley, something is definitely wrong.

In the grand scheme of things, allergies are just a side-effect of what the Earth is going through.

Speaking from someone who has been around for 45 years, the past couple of decades have definitely changed at a much faster pace than in the 20th century.

Quite literally, climate change is happening at an exponential rate. What that means is that it’s happening at a more rapid pace with each passing year.

Think of the idea of rolling a snowball downhill. As it continues its path, the snowball collects more snow, making it bigger and faster as it travels.

Though, in this case, it’s a ball of mud because all of the snow has melted.

It’s Bad for Many People, Regardless

Honestly, I thought there was something wrong with me or that someone started growing something nearby that caused my allergies to flare up so bad. It wasn’t until I recently took to Google when I found out I wasn’t the only one.

So, whether you believe in climate change or not, the pollen counts are much higher making it worse for those like myself who are affected by such.

I only hope we can either do something about the shift or that my body simply adapts to the climate. In either case, it makes me worry about the state of the world in another couple of decades.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been interested in the practicality of living green for quite some time. He works closely with GreenGeeks Web Hosting as the Content Marketing Team Lead and an author of various articles.

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