Local expert explains reasons for longer allergy season
MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) - Spring has sprung bringing back seasonal allergies for thousands of Michiganders.
March is seen as the beginning of peak allergy season for the state, but local doctors said some are experiencing symptoms sooner than in years past.
“This winter and this spring has been unusual I guess is the best way to put it,” Dr. Alexander Horbal from Bay Allergy Clinic said.
Unusual and inconsistent. It’s that time of year again where you may find yourself sneezing, coughing, and rubbing your eyes until they’re red. We all know that with warm weather comes allergy season, but experts say climate change is causing it to come a lot sooner and last a lot longer.
“We’re seeing warmer and warmer seasons. And these warmer seasons causes longer seasons, and with these longer seasons you get exposed to allergies for a longer period of time as well,” Horbal said.
According to a new report by Climate Central, plants are leafing and blooming earlier, the growing season is lasting longer, and the length of time we go without a freeze has lengthened by more than two weeks since 1970.
Though some of us may wish for an early spring, Horbal said we need a full winter.
“We had an extended fall season that was continuous. And when that happens not only people being exposed to those allergens they can also be exposed to mold as well with these rains that we get. So, thank God we did eventually get some snow that came about eventually this last month,” Horbal said.
However, once that snow melts it can also cause allergies. The mold’s spores begin to be released into the air, causing allergic reactions, and the spring rain can do the same.
“When all the snow starts melting all that snow goes into the soil, and when it goes into the soil it disturbs the soil, and when you disturb the soil these spores start coming out. Especially in this area we see a lot of different molds. So, people get exposed to that and it’s just unfortunate how it goes with rains and when snow melt,” Horbal said.
He said half the battle is avoidance and the other is medication. The best thing you can do is narrow down what allergies you have so that you can properly treat them.
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