Omaha Public Radio News
3:22 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Spring allergies are getting worse

Omaha, NE – An associate professor at Creighton University says rising temperatures and an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are two reasons the allergy season appears to be getting longer.

Dr. Jeff Stokes is an associate professor of medicine. He says 10 to 30% of adults in the U.S. and up to 40% of children suffer from hay fever. Dr. Stokes says there's evidence that the ragweed season in the United States has increased about 10 days from where it was 20 years ago. He says Europe shows the same pattern, with pollen seasons on the increase, "So part one is the pollen season has been lengthening over the last couple of decades. The second part has to do with pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. With that type of prevalence it seems the amount of pollen that is made is greater. So if I've got a longer season and a greater amount of pollen being produced, people are more likely to have more significant reactions "

Dr. Stokes says it may be time to consult your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping, are having side effects from medication or are feeling miserable.