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Allergy season: from bad to worse

5:37 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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(NBC) - If you thought this year was bad for allergies, you haven't seen anything yet.

Allergists have looked into the future and see a lot more sneezing and sniffling.

New research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology finds seasonal allergies will get worse as pollen counts double over the coming decades.

The reason is climate change.

Allergists say it's nothing to sneeze at.

"As we see a rise in green house gases, like carbon dioxide, this fuels the growth for pollinating plants, so it leads to increase in allergies," explains Dr. Samuel Friedlander of the UH Case Medical Center.

In the year 2000 pollen production began in April and peaked in May.

Allergists predict that by the year 2040 that peak will come a month earlier.

That means the suffering may begin earlier each spring and possibly last longer.

So what can we do, other than start a stockpile of Kleenex?

In addition to seeing an allergy specialist you can shower before bed, clean your glasses, keep your windows closed and wash pets that can drag allergens in from outside.

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