Allergies spring with a vengeance


Every year brings worse allergy seasons as global warming increases pollen levels. The California drought is only making things worse.

“Because carbon dioxide is used as food for plants, in atmospheres with more CO2 plants have more resources. This allows them to grow larger and produce more pollen,” said researcher Jennifer Albertine in a recent article.

Because of the drought, water-starved trees blooming from January through April are producing more pollen in an effort to ensure the survival of the species.

More than 40 million Americans suffer from allergies and that number will continue to in- crease due to these environmental factors.

“I’ve never had allergies before, but this spring I’ve been short of breath and had difficulty concentrating on my schoolwork,” said Delta student Renee Painter.

Typical allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes and nose may be absent or minimal in some sufferers.

Atypical symptoms such as stomachache, lung congestion, fatigue, brain fog and irritability may be the only, and often unrecognized, symptoms of a new allergy.

Because cold and allergy symptoms are similar, some people take unnecessary cold medicine that may relieve some symptoms without treating the root problem.

Allergy testing is the most direct route to effective treatment.

“Actually, thinking about it, maybe I should get that done,” said Delta student Darien Moore who has suffered from allergies all his life.

Those with year-round allergies can take allergy shots or pills to raise their tolerance to allergens.

Those with allergies in one or two seasons can take the appropriate anti-histamines from the beginning of each season to prevent their symptoms.

Often, people don’t want to take over-the- counter medication or see a doctor, but there are ways to reduce symptoms without such measures.

Some tips for keeping your body and home an outdoor allergen-free zone are keeping windows closed and using air conditioning, changing clothes and showering after a day out, and using a nasal saline rinse.