Allergy season is “earlier, longer and worse” in these US cities, report finds

(NEXSTAR) – That extra head congestion you’ve been feeling lately might not be all in your head, so to speak.

A new report on seasonal allergies they found that the growing season was extended by more than two weeks on average. A longer growing season means more days of sniffles, sneezes and headaches for allergy sufferers.

Climate Central, an organization of scientists and journalists focused on studying the effects of climate change and warming global temperatures, analyzed temperature data from 203 American cities since 1970.

They found that the allergy season is not only getting longer, but also getting more intense.

This is mainly because warming temperatures have essentially shortened the length of deep freeze winters and extended the length of seasons in which allergen-producing plants thrive.

“Earlier spring and longer periods of frost-free days mean plants have more time to flower and release allergy-causing pollen,” writes Climate Central in his report.

Of the 203 cities analyzed, in 172 (about 85%) frost-free seasons were extended – many by more than a month.

The cities where allergy season has grown the most since 1970, according to the report, are:

  1. Reno, Nevada: 99 days longer
  2. Bend, Oregon: 83 days longer
  3. Las Cruces, New Mexico: 72 days longer
  4. Medford, Oregon: 63 days longer
  5. Boise, Idaho: 52 days longer
  6. Tupelo, Mississippi: 51 days longer
  7. El Paso, Texas: 50 days longer
  8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: 46 days longer
  9. Toledo, Ohio: 45 days longer
  10. Wheeling, West Virginia: 44 days longer
  11. Missoula, Montana: 42 days longer
  12. Albuquerque, New Mexico: 39 days longer
  13. Concord, New Hampshire: 39 days longer
  14. Eugene, Oregon: 38 days longer
  15. Jefferson City, Missouri: 38 days longer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees that climate change could cause people to suffer more health consequences from allergens. Exposure to pollen can lead to symptoms of hay fever and allergic conjunctivitis, and can lead to more asthma attacks in people with asthma.

Among the 203 cities analyzed, there were some cities where the growing season is shortening, Climate Central scientists found. Ottumwa, Iowa; Denver, Colorado; and Waco, Texas, all had their growing seasons shortened by 15 or more days.

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