Dr. Devin Minor, chief medical officer at Banner Urgent Care, says a report shows the climate crisis will have an impact on allergy season. "The warming of the earth and in certain locations – it’s going to cause pollen to be disseminated for longer periods of time," he explained.
The report can be found in the journal Nature Communications. It shows allergy season could shift 10 to 40 days earlier in the spring by the end of the century.
For those of us in Arizona, a long allergy season is something we’re familiar with.
"In Arizona, you can actually get allergies year-round. At certain times of the year, it is going to be certain plants. So right now this type of year is really the trees – so mesquite, mulberry, ash," Minor said.
Even citrus trees can trigger an onset of symptoms.
"In urgent cares, we’re seeing patients come in with those itchy eyes, watery eyes, runny nose and maybe a dry cough. People who have asthma may be getting exacerbated this time of year, so we’re definitely seeing an uptick," Minor said.
The report explains how wind-driven pollen is closely linked to temperature and precipitation.
If you’re struggling with allergy symptoms, Minor offers some advice.
"Stay inside as much as possible when it’s really breezy out and really dry, that’s going to help some individuals. Changing your clothing when you come inside, wiping down pets can also be a benefit and certain individuals with symptoms can take over the counter medication," he explained.
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