Pollen Counts and Hay Fever Allergies Arriving Earlier
After record high temperatures through the winter months, most of the U.S. is now experiencing an explosion of record pollen counts each year. This is now coming with dramatically increased incidence of hay fever allergies.
March pollen counts higher
March has been reaching new records for average pollen counts. For example, in 2012, it reached 9,369 particles per cubic meter of air in Atlanta. Atlanta has historical normal ranges are about 2,000 particles per cubic meter during March as a comparison.
Not only is pollen season blooming earlier this year, but the quantity of pollen is significantly greater than anything seen before. And because more than 60 million Americans suffer from hayfever and pollen allergies, allergy incidence is at an all time high.
This trend has continued throughout the U.S., as decreased rainfall and increased carbon monoxide levels have contributed to higher pollen counts over the decades.
Trees are providing the bulk of the current pollen because it is too early for most of the weed and grass pollens, bush pollens and mold spores – which start later in the spring. When trees do not have the moisture and the colder weather, they do not fall into as low a dormancy state. This pushes them to ‘wake up’ earlier, and begin flowering. This often produces higher pollen counts as well.
Pollen from pine trees, sweet gum trees and oak trees are the most prevalent at this time of year. This year is bringing significantly higher counts of oak pollen, which is typically released more gradually. Oak pollen particulate is very small and can get through many ventilation systems. This large influx of early oak pollen is causing new pollen sensitivities because of this smaller pollen size.
Monoculture farming also contributes to hay fever allergies according to other research.
Asthma and other lung conditions worsened with high pollen
Pollen can also exacerbate asthma and other lung conditions, as well as skin conditions. Many allergy sufferers break out in hives.
Worst cities for high pollen counts include Laredo, Knoxville, Yuma, Mcallen, Louisville, Las Vegas, Jackson MS, Wichita, Oklahoma City, OK, Chattanooga, TN, San Antonio TX, Atlanta and Dayton OH.
Conventional medical doctors recommend staying indoors and closing all the doors and windows. They also recommend various antihistamines, which have numerous side effects, including dry mouth, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, drowsiness, gastrointestinal discomfort, irritability and blurred vision.
Is this the only thing we can do? Are allergies reversible?
Learn more about natural strategies for pollen allergies and hayfever: