Why Is Allergy Season So Brutal This Year in Central New York
What's up with the super pollen in the air? It's making allergy season brutal this year.
I don't remember suffering this much in the Spring. My nose runs so much I should buy stock in tissues. I've even had to stick pieces up my nose rather than constantly blowing and rubbing my nose raw. My eyes water so much people think I'm crying. And the sneezing - oh my god! I don't know what's worse, having it get stuck refusing to come out, or the continual sneeze that often last 10 to 12 times in a row. In my old age, I'm worried I'll throw my back out or pull a muscle.
I'm use to these symptoms during ragweed season in the fall but not in the spring. What's the cause?
Pollen and climate change is to blame according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). "In the spring, the warm weather will bring people outdoors to face one of the season’s biggest problems: tree pollen. Grass Pollen follows later in spring into summer. Then in the late summer and early fall, weed pollen – especially ragweed pollen – can make you miserable."
The misery is lasting longer too. Warmer temperatures have caused the pollen season to be 11 to 27 days longer. "These warmer temperatures create more pollen in the air, stronger airborne allergens and more allergy symptoms," said AAFA.
A global warming cycle is leading to more extreme weather and this cycle is causing plants to increase the amount of pollen they produce. Not good news for all of us allergy sufferers.
Albany and Buffalo are among the top 20 worst spots for pollen this year. My runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and constant sneezing is saying the pollen is pretty brutal in Central New York too.
There are things you can do to reduce your pollen contact. AAFA provides several tips to minimize your allergies when pollen is high.
• Check pollen counts daily and plan outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are lower.
• Keep windows closed.
• If possible, use central air conditioning with a certified asthma & allergy friendly HVAC filter.
• Wear sunglasses and a hat or other hair covering when outdoors.
• Take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed if your hair was uncovered outside.
• Change and wash clothes after outdoor activities.
• Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line.
• Wipe pets off with a towel before they enter your home.
• Remove your shoes before entering your home.
• Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
• Use a nasal rinse to flush out inhaled pollen.
• Take Allergy medicines – such as antihistamines.
• Use Nasal corticosteroid sprays.
At this point, most allergy sufferers will try anything to stop the misery.