As the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, pollen allergies are a persistent problem for at least 50 million Americans. In recent years, pollen seasons have been getting longer and more severe.
Why Are Pollen Allergies Getting Worse Every Year?
Allergy symptoms can worsen with every passing season. There are several factors that may affect the severity of your allergy symptoms:
- Age. As we age, our immune systems may weaken, leading to more severe responses as our bodies attempt to flush pollen out of our lungs and sinuses.
- Stress. Studies have attributed worsened allergies to excessive stress because stress can cause increased concentrations of histamine (the hormone that your body releases in response to allergens) in the blood.
- Poor air quality. Poor air quality can exacerbate respiratory symptoms associated with seasonal allergies such as coughing, sneezing, fatigue, runny noses, sore throats, and headaches.
- Open windows. Although it can feel refreshing in the spring and summer, leaving your windows open allows pollen to build up inside your home.
- Not taking a nighttime shower. Pollen accumulates on your skin, hair, and clothing throughout the day. Not showering and changing clothes before bed means that you are exposed to pollen all night long, leading to poor sleep quality and allergy flare-ups.
However, if you have noticed that your allergy symptoms have gotten worse and lasted longer over the years, it may be attributable to climate change. A recent study shows that pollen seasons from allergy-causing plants have increased by 20 days, with a 21% increase in pollen concentrations between 1990 and 2018.
How Does Climate Change Make Allergy Season Worse?
Climate change is causing longer and more intense allergy seasons, as per experts. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) lists three ways climate change is impacting allergy season.
Firstly, rising temperatures trigger a longer growing season for many plants, meaning that the length of time that these plants are releasing pollen is also extended. Additionally, each plant produces a greater volume of pollen. Finally, the released pollen is increasingly allergenic compared to previous years, causing more severe reactions in those who suffer from allergies. This results in increased symptoms, such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, and difficulty breathing.
Allergy Season Tips from Air Quality Professionals
You can reduce allergy symptoms by limiting exposure to pollen through the following tips.
- Identify the pollen you are sensitive to and monitor its count in your area to minimize outdoor time. Generally, trees and grasses pollinate in the evenings during spring and summer, while ragweed pollinates in the mornings during late summer and early autumn. Use the interactive map provided by pollen.com to track pollen count and forecasts in your area.
- To pollen from getting into your hair and eyes, wear a hat and sunglasses before stepping outdoors. Consider using a mask, similar to one used for COVID-19 protection, as recommended by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).
- After extended periods of exercising or being outdoors, it’s recommended to change clothes, shower, and wash your hair if you can.
- To avoid the impact of pollen season, ensure your windows remain closed and opt for air conditioning wherever possible.
- To ensure a healthy and clean indoor environment free from harmful airborne contaminants like pollen, consider using air filtration solutions. Camfil’s City-M in-room air purifier is a great option, removing particles and contaminants for optimal well-being. Be sure to consult your local air filtration expert to learn which air filtration solutions are best for you.
How Can HEPA Air Purifiers Help Allergy Sufferers?
Staying indoors to avoid pollen may seem like sound advice for those with allergies, but it may not be as effective as commonly thought. Pollen is considered a particulate pollutant, and concentrations of particulate matter can be as much as fifty times higher indoors than outdoors, particularly in areas with poor ventilation.
Air purifiers with factory-tested HEPA filters are the ideal air filtration solution for seasonal allergies because of their ability to trap a minimum of 99.97% of particulate matter, including pollen. They can be used in various settings like homes, offices, classrooms, gyms, commercial, and public buildings. Since air purifiers plug into standard electrical outlets and work independently of the building’s HVAC system, they require no elaborate installation and can be conveniently moved around.
Camfil’s City M air purifier is designed to tackle indoor pollution. It uses HEPA filters certified to 99.995% efficient on the smallest particles to reduce pollen levels and capture allergens while an activated carbon filter minimizes household odors, VOCs, and fumes. This powerful duo results in cleaner air and reduced respiratory irritation.
For a more comfortable indoor breathing year-round, manage your allergies by fitting a premium air purifier with HEPA filtration like the City M.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.
The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 30 manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,600 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.us/
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