Allergy season getting longer each year

Growing season gets longer as warmer temperatures begin earlier and end later annually.
Allergy season has been tough for a lot of people, but the season is only getting longer each year.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 12:54 AM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Allergy season has been tough for a lot of people and the season is only getting longer each year.

The growing season is getting longer as warmer temperatures are lasting later into the fall and starting earlier in the spring. This is bad news for those with seasonal allergies.

A graphic from Climate Central shows the change in the growing season from 1970 to 2022. Notice Middle Tennessee has seen up to a 30-day change in its freeze-free season.

Carbon dioxide levels are also going up causing plants and trees to produce more pollen. That means more people are being bothered by allergies for the first time in their life.

Dr. Basil Kawash, an allergy doctor with Vanderbilt Health, said there is a longer wait to see an allergist this time of the year.

He said the longer the exposure to allergens is part of the reason why allergies are so bad, but it doesn’t fully explain why people are suffering from allergies for the first time.

It could be because many people aren’t from the area, so the exposure to native plants and trees are new.

Geographically, we live in an area where pollen sits and settles as we’re sort of in a bowl, so pollen concentrations tend to be higher.

If you think you’re experiencing allergies for the first time, note whether you’re experiencing itching of the eyes, nose or throat. Congestion and coughing can overlap with symptoms of allergies and other illnesses, but itching occurs as the result of an allergic reaction.

Some tips to keep pollen away are to wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors, take showers before going to sleep to wash pollen off your body and to keep pets off your bed to avoid pollen accumulating where you sleep.