With seasonal allergies on the rise, there are some happy tissue companies this year. Who would have thought that all that extra sneezing and eye rubbing had to do with global warming? But research shows that because of climate change, North America will have one of its longest allergy seasons. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. Most common outdoor allergens, like tree pollen, grass pollen, and mold increase in production when temperatures and humidity are high. Ragweed levels in particular also go up with higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 — the “greenhouse gas” causing all the trouble. So as the consequences of climate change extend the pollen season, more babies may grow up with things like eczema, runny noses, watery eyes, or worse — asthma. High pollen and mold counts lead to worsening of symptoms for asthma sufferers, and studies have shown more asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations during these peak times.
So what can you do to protect yourself from the onslaught of pollen this spring? Try some natural remedies for allergy symptoms such as a neti pot and an indoor air purifier. You might want to think twice about some of the herbs and alternative medicines that promise relief, as some have been found not to be very effective. However, the butterbur has shown to work just as well as Allegra. To help curb your kids’ asthma attacks, try these surprising at-home tricks, or even an asthma “diet” (and definitely keep them off acetaminophen). While you can prepare for the allergy season with remedies and meds, you can also take a moment to help curb the effects of global warming by making a few little lifestyle changes, too.