Dear Dr. Kagen,
I had allergies in early childhood. The doctor told my mother not to worry, that I would grow out of it. Happily the doctor was right and I did “grow out” of my allergies.
That is, until this year. For the first time in 15+ years I’ve had to buy a lot of antihistamines. This works fine to control my symptoms and I have never had asthma or lung problems associated with my allergies, so this is not an issue for me.
My question is, why is it so bad this year? I live in the Kansas City metro area.
Thanks for asking about this terrible allergy season.
The US had one of the warmest winters on record due in large part to Climate Change and the warming of the surface water in the Pacific Ocean. The warmer winter has produced a 4-fold increase in the total amount of tree pollination this spring compared to last year in regions of the Northeastern United States, the Midwest, and central and southern states as well.
Grass pollination has started early and it is much higher than last year, while the total mold spore levels are higher too.
Even patients with mild allergic disease are having symptoms of runny nose, sinus headaches and itchy eyes this year.
The best advice for you is to be prepared to see your local allergy specialist!
Steve Kagen, M.D.