Every allergy season presents challenges which need to be managed. The allergy season is lasting longer and coming on stronger it seems with each year.
1 in 5 Americans suffers from allergies
Allergies are caused by the chemical histamine, which is released in response to various environmental triggers. It creates an inflammatory response to foreign particles like pollen or dust. Symptoms include sneezing, fatigue, eye irritation, nasal congestion, and the dreaded runny nose. Since one in five Americans suffers from some type of allergy, it’s very likely that if you’re not suffering, someone around you is.
Allergens are increasing
According to a study by research lab Quest Diagnostics, allergies are on the rise. A recent study using over two million blood samples showed that ragweed sensitivity jumped 15% between 2005 and 2008. Mold sensitivity went up by 12% during the same time. The overall sensitization rate to 11 different allergens climbed almost 6%.
Location plays a role
“The level of sensitization to these common allergens is increasing,” said study author Stanley Naides. “The highest areas are in the Southwest, and one has to raise the question of whether the weather is contributing to this.” Location can play a role in an allergic reaction. If your allergies are particularly terrible and you aren’t responding to treatments, a move to a better location might be considered.
Climate is a factor
A state’s climate can influence which allergens are most prevalent. States with heavy rainfall like Louisiana may be more prone to mold growth, while arid states like Nevada are often characterized by excessive dust. It’s no coincidence that Phoenix and Las Vegas rate numbers one and two on cities with the most allergies.
So is plant life
A state’s natural plant population will contribute to airborne pollen allergies. Lightweight airborne pollens travel greater distances are more likely to trigger allergies than heavier varieties spread by insects and animals. Ragweed, Bermuda grass and cedar trees are relentless with their allergenic pollen.