The fog of pollen coming off our trees, sticking to our cars and assaulting our sinuses this spring season has slowly increased over the last 30 years. In fact, there's not only more pollen, but the pollen season has also increased!
A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that from 1990 to 2018, the pollen season has lengthened by 20 days per year, while the pollen concentration has increased by 21%. While being in higher quantity, the pollen may also be more potent, causing you to sniffle that much more.
The question of why comes down to climate change. With the warmer weather and more CO2 in the air, plants are growing larger than before, which leads to more flowers being produced and thus more pollen.
To make your life easier, take the following steps to lessen the impact pollen has on you. By wearing a brimmed hat and sunglasses, you can keep the pollen out of your eyes and nose while outside. Another pollen mitigating factor is using a face mask while outside, as it also helps block pollen from entering through your nose. Beyond those mitigating factors, changing your clothes upon arriving home and wiping down your pets following a walk will help lessen the amount of pollen in your house.
See below for some articles about the worsening pollen seasons, the way to figure out if it's just allergies or COVID, and some ways to help slow climate change!