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Warm Winters May Cause Longer Allergy Seasons


Experts are predicting strong El Niño conditions this winter with heavier rains and warmer temperatures. Those factors combined with rising carbon dioxide levels causing climate change could actually worsen allergies and asthma.

However, there are things people can do to alleviate their allergy and asthma symptoms.

The experience of many people suffering from allergies is that their symptoms are becoming worse and lasting longer. Research shows that seasonal allergies are lasting longer and turning more intense.

Climate change is causing rising temperatures, which in turn leads to higher pollen and mold counts. When there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plants use this gas and the warm climate to produce more pollen.

In addition to higher pollen and mold counts, another phenomenon may be in store. Climate change has boosted the chances of severe thunderstorms, and that increases the possibility of what's called "thunderstorm asthma."

Thunderstorms create unique weather factors that can break up pollen and mold spores into tiny fragments. These particles are then easier to inhale and lodge in the lower part of the lungs and exacerbate asthma.

So as we prepare for a warmer, wetter winter, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of severe allergies. Some hay fever seasons may begin as early as January because of the warmer temperatures.

Here are some tips to reduce allergy symptoms:

  • Minimize your exposure to allergens in mindful ways.
  • Keep proper medications on hand.
  • Controlling Humidity in Your Home

The humidity level in your home can have a big impact on your comfort and health. When the air in your home is too dry, you are more likely to catch a cold and suffer from problems like dry, itchy skin. High humidity can also cause problems, such as mold growth and attracting insects.

You can purchase a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels in your home. Ideally, the humidity level should be between 30 and 50 percent.

Here are some tips for controlling humidity in your home:

Reduce humidity:

Vent moisture-producing activities, such as cooking and showering, to the outside.

Use air conditioning to remove moisture from the air.

Invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.

Increase humidity:

Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

By following these tips, you can create a more comfortable and healthy living environment for yourself and your family.