Earlier, longer allergy seasons can cause symptoms to flare

May 19, 2023

Earlier, longer allergy seasons can cause symptoms to flare

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows the effects of climate change are lengthening allergy seasons by increasing pollen concentrations.  

“There's not only a longer allergy season, but also more overlap between, say, grass pollen season and tree pollen season,” said Dr. Jing Yi “Jenny” Sun, a UW Medicine allergy attending physician. “All of those things combined together can make allergies a little bit more difficult to bear.” 

Sun says wildfire smoke can also impact people who are sensitive to allergy symptoms. 

“We do know that smoke pollution in general can cause increased irritation, especially in the nasal lining and the linings of the eyes,” said Sun a clinical assistant professor of allergy and immunology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “(For) someone who's prone to these symptoms or have these symptoms at baseline – having exposure to these irritants certainly isn't helpful, and if anything can make symptoms worse.” 

Download broadcast-ready soundbites featuring the above answers from Dr. Sun, along with avoidance measures to tame allergy symptoms in your home.  

Learn about allergy & immunology care at UW Medicine

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