Allergy sufferers may have more of a reason to stay indoors these next few weeks as researchers cite this spring as one of the worst allergy seasons in recent history.
Dr. Michael Marcus, director of allergy services at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., said many people were not prepared for the extended allergy
season, which he said began as early as February.
“Whenever you see a mild winter, it should be a warning to people with allergies that there may be an early start to the allergy season,” he said.
According to a 2010 study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, the rise in the number of allergy cases is due to the increased pollen count in the past 15 years. The study published findings that the ragweed season grew 27 days longer between 1995 and 2009.
Dr. Stanley Fineman, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said plants are releasing their pollen earlier because plant season is longer.
“Not only is there warmer weather, there tends to be more CO2 in the atmosphere,” he said.
CO2, or Carbon dioxide, is a nutrient source for plants, which causes them to release stronger pollen. This causes the flora to be more allergenic than when there is limited CO2.
Fineman said by acting in ways that will positively impact the environment, people can cut down on the number of allergy cases because they will be limiting the amount of CO2 released into the air.