Next Avenue: Brace yourself for a longer—and worse—allergy season

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from Lew Ziska was a freshman in college when he realized he had a bigger problem than he thought with his seasonal allergies. “I couldn’t breathe,” recalls the 65-year-old college professor. “It was spring. I could not breathe. Having a 600-pound gorilla sitting on your chest is not a joke. You feel like you’re going to die.” 

It wasn’t until Ziska received emergency treatment at the campus dispensary that he regained his breath. “Suddenly, I could breathe again, and everything was fine – but I didn’t have an inhaler then.” Ziska now knows the “gorilla” was a severe asthma attack triggered by spring allergies. He’s one of the tens of millions of Americans — including one in four adults — who suffer from seasonal allergies.  It might seem ironic (or fitting) that he went on to become a plant physiologist at Columbia University, where he now studies the link between climate change and allergies. Unfortunately, however, the news from the research front is not good.  A March report from Princeton-based Climate Central calls the rise in outdoor allergies a “significant threat to human health.”A longer sneezing season The report affirms, “A growing body of research shows that warming temperatures, shifting seasonal patterns and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — all linked to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions — are affecting the length and intensity of allergy season in the U.S.” “What we’re seeing consistently across North America is that those spring frost …

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