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Allergy season started sooner, and more people are sneezing

Posted at 10:07 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 23:08:51-04

BALTIMORE — It’s the first week of spring, and with the warmer weather comes a price: allergies.

Scientists are noticing an earlier allergy season, and a larger prevalence of allergies.

"We've been looking at trends throughout the time course of what we've been looking at in the last 20 years in different parts of the world," Dr. Jean Kim, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, "and we've really noticed an increase in the prevalence of allergies. And it's difficult to explain."

Allergy season started a lot sooner because the material that causes allergies is in the air earlier, Kim explained to WMAR-2 News.

READ MORE: Pesky Pollen

Kim notes rising global temperatures may be a factor.

"That led to us really becoming curious as to what the relationship may be," said Kim, "And it really does make a lot of sense - you have warmer climates, so you’ll have longer growing seasons, more pollen, pollen coming out earlier, and staying longer."

And here’s where the advice comes in - and it's an important reminder. If you have a family history of allergies and asthma - be on the lookout for severe symptoms.

Difficulty sleeping, wheezing, chest tightness - these might warrant a doctor visit.

"It’s one thing to suffer with runny nose, and just, inconvenience of itchy watery eyes," Kim added, "but it’s another to have an asthma exacerbation."

Kim told WMAR-2 News anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the population has allergies.