Global Warming May Worsen Allergies And Cause More Asthma Attacks, Experts Say

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Apr 12, 2017 10:24 AM EDT

One of the biggest effects of global warming is climate change and experts reveal that as the phenomenon remains unchecked, it could worsen respiratory allergies especially for millions of Americans. So those who already have seasonal allergies may suffer from worse conditions in the future.

The Verge reports that global warming may bring longer blooming seasons. In addition, the rising carbon dioxide level could hasten the growth of weeds and trees. A growing body of studies reveal that this could also mean more allergy-causing pollen. This will not be good for people who already have allergic asthma.

Pollen activates the immune system, which releases molecules that cause itchiness and selling. This will result in itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, and constricted airways. Aside from that, carbon dioxide may make more fuel via photosynthesis. Since ragweed grows during the fall season, hay fever will become more common. According to scientists, ragweed grown in the lab will produce more flower resulting to more pollen when CO2 levels increase.

In its report entitled Extreme Allergies and Global Warming, the National Wildlife Federation reveals that many allergy triggers will only get worse due to climate change. Ragweed is expected to thrive and cause more irritation due to increased carbon dioxide levels. At its current level, ragweed is likely to produce twice as much pollen as they did 100 years ago. The rate that pollen would be produced could also double as carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere.

Aside from worsening allergies, global warming may also lead to an increase in fungal spores, poison ivy, and allergy to bee stings. People will also have to deal with a likely increase in ground-level ozone pollution, especially in urban areas. This could trigger more asthma attacks and may reduce the ability of bronchial airways to cope with allergens. Allergy and asthma attacks have already caused the United States nearly $33 billion in direct health care costs and lost productivity.

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