Medical experts say allergy season is worsening each year

Pollen count is at a record high
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 5:27 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - You may be one of the many people struggling with itchy eyes, nasal congestion or a runny nose these days. According to the Kagan Allergy Clinic, this year’s allergy season could become the worst on record. Dr. Bradley Locke, an allergist at Prevea Health, highlights a pattern that began three decades ago.

“When we trend out pollen seasons in general over the last 15-20 years, we’ve seen a gradual increase in the amount of pollens every year, and pollen seasons seem to be happening a lot earlier,” said Dr. Locke.

Data from the US Dept. of Agriculture shows this year’s pollen season has over 20% more pollen than in 1990. Dr. Locke says research shows global warming is likely responsible for this phenomenon.

“That kind of stagnant air mass has just been kind pf hanging over our region and then with all that sunlight and heat that’s just able to produce those elevated ozone concentrations,” said Craig Czarnecki, the Outreach Coordinator at the DNR Air Management.

Those in Wisconsin experiencing allergy symptoms these days aren’t alone; Dr. Locke says the problem is happening world-wide.

“We have a lot of great options for treatment out there. We advise people to start with over-the-counter medications.. whether those be oral or nasal.. there are multiple types of nasal sprays out there,” said Dr. Locke.

For those dealing with allergies, medical experts suggest keeping your doors and windows closed and avoiding outdoor activity, especially in the morning when pollen count is the highest.

You can find an allergy tracker here, which is updated weekdays with data from Kagen Allergy Clinic.