Sandy legacy could be severe spring allergies
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.; March 12, 2013 -- Superstorm Sandy is in the record book, but it continues to cause misery for some people.
Allergy experts say due to the storm, many trees are well-fed so they will be bursting with pollen.
And due to the mild winter, says Dr. Leonard Bielory, we will likely see allergy season start earlier and last longer.
Dr. Bielory has been researching the impact of climate change for Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Many said 2012, with its unseasonably warm temperatures and extended seasons, was the worst for allergies.
However, Dr. Bielory believes things will only get worse.
A study he presented for a national meeting of allergy specialists said pollen counts could more than double by 2040.
He said climate change will be a factor, driven by economic growth and human-induced changes, such as higher levels of carbion dioxide.
In addition to higher pollen levels, Dr. Bielory also predicts an earlier start and longer run to the allergy season.
His past study documented a 25-year increase in ragweed pollen in the area from Texas to Canada, and an increase in the length of the ragweed season.
In the coming weeks, expect maple, elm, and cedar to put out their pollen first, followed by oak and birch.
If you suffer spring allergies, being your treatment 2 weeks before symptoms usually start.
And consider immunotherapy, often in the form of shots. it can help save more than 40% of your medical costs.
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