NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Allergy season is back, tormenting sufferers with itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing – but this year may be longer and more painful.
In various parts of the country, Americans are finding their vehicles and homes covered in a yellow-green coating. It’s the kiss of death for an allergy sufferer.
However, this year, pollen counts are exploding more than ever.
“We’re into five-digit accounts of pollen specifically, predominantly trees,” says Dr. Leonard Bielroy, with Rutgers University.
He notes that oak and birch trees are the worst currently and he is seeing a link between warmer weather and a longer allergy season.
“What we're seeing over the past 25 almost 30 years that there has been clear trends increasing from 1995 to the present time in the northeast area,” he explains.
He says higher pollen counts are likely to continue as the Earth continues to warm.
“Is this going to be our new norm in the northeast with higher pollen counts? It appears to be so,” Dr. Bielroy said.
Recently, Dr. Bielroy and scientists around the world have also explored a COVID-19 connection to allergies.
They have found an interesting connection between places with higher pollen counts and higher rates of COVID-19 infections and now they are trying to figure out why.
“Once you have inflammation from pollen, you may have increased propensity to build infectious associations such as COVID-19,” Dr. Bielroy explains.
That will require more research.