Report finds since 1970, allergy season in these cities is more than 40 days longer

Woman sneezing from nearby pollen.
Woman with allergies sneezing from nearby pollen. Photo credit Getty Images

If you think that your allergies have been worse in recent years, you may not be going crazy, as a new report has found that warmer temperatures spurred on by climate change have caused allergy season to be longer and more intense in certain cities.

The new report from Climate Central has found that changing climate and temperatures have impacted the duration and strength of allergy season due to the growing season being lengthened by more than two weeks on average.

“Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year, and climate change is making it worse,” the report says.

The organization analyzed temperature patterns from more than 200 cities in the U.S. dating back to 1970. The researchers, made up of journalists and scientists, found that allergy season is continuing to grow in intensity and length.

“Earlier spring and longer periods of freeze-free days mean that plants have more time to flower and release allergy-inducing pollen,” Climate Central wrote in its report.

An early spring has become more common in some cities, with warming temperatures shortening deep-freeze winters. In turn, this has extended the season allergen-producing plants thrive.

Among the 203 cities analyzed for the report, 172 were found to have almost a month longer freeze-free seasons.

The report compiled the data and found that the top 10 cities in the country have seen their allergy seasons grow by more than a month since 1970.

Among these include Reno, Nevada (99 days longer); Bend, Oregon (83 days longer); Las Cruces, New Mexico (72 days longer); Medford, Oregon (63 days longer); Boise, Idaho (52 days longer); Tupelo, Mississippi (51 days longer); El Paso, Texas (50 days longer); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (46 days longer); Toledo, Ohio (45 days longer); and Wheeling, West Virginia (44 days longer).

The report also cited data from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which lists the worst cities to live in if you have seasonal allergies.

The AAFA found that Wichita, Kansas, is this year’s worst city to live in with seasonal allergies, as it has “worse-than-average scores for all pollen, allergy medicine use, and availability of allergy specialists.”

Other states said to be the worst include Dallas, Texas, at two; Scranton, Pennsylvania, at three; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at four; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, at five.

The CDC reports that 26% of adults in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies, along with 19% of the nation’s children.

The report notes that allergies are not just an inconvenience, as they can also bring significant financial tolls and health implications on those who experience them. Severe health implications can include triggering or worsening a person’s asthma.

Climate Central has set up a resource to show how different cities’ allergy seasons have changed in the last 50 years. To check your city, visit the report’s findings here.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images