Ahh, springtime... The sun is shining, leaves are coming out, the flowers are blooming and cue the itchy eyes and constant sneezing. As many as 1 in 5 people are affected by seasonal allergies, commonly referred to as hay fever and if you've felt like your symptoms have been getting worse year after year, you're not alone. And there's a surprising reason why.
If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, while springtime may bring warmer weather and the beauty of blooming trees and plants it may, in fact, instil dread and make you want to hide away in your home for the next two months.
You may also think to yourself, that this year is worse than the last. And likely you've been thinking that every year for the past few years. While you may think your specific allergies are getting worse, there is actually science that proves it's not just you. It turns out global warming could be the cause.
As the global temperature averages rise, the amount of pollen in the air tends to increase as well. At least, this was found to be accurate within the northern hemisphere, according to a study done by The Lancet Planetary Health done in 2019.
We know that global warming is caused by the spike of C02 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere caused largely by our use of motor vehicles and production facilities. C02 is a greenhouse gas, which causes heat from the sun to stay trapped between the surface and the atmosphere, slowly but surely increasing global temperatures. Coincidently, plants use C02 to produce energy and with more of it trapped in the atmosphere, they are able to grow for longer periods and produce more pollen.
This data explains why every year, those of us who may suffer from seasonal allergies, continue to be hit by it worse and worse. Putting a stop to global warming and reducing our carbon footprints may have even more benefits than we think.