Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Summer’s Here…

The weather over the last couple of weeks has been beautiful for this time of year but it always brings up the question of climate change and although the sunshine is a welcomed surprise what does this really mean for our health?

I have suffered with asthma and hay fever for as long as I can remember which always makes summer a little uncomfortable. The constant supply of tissues and allergy tablets is not very attractive when you’re on a beach or in a park. But is this early spout of sunshine making the allergy season longer?
According to the Sunday Times “spring begins an average of 15 days earlier than some 30 years ago which means that plants such as grass and birch trees, known to trigger hay fever attacks, will have a much longer pollen-producing season than in previous years”. The Mail Online have also reported that experts have warned that in the not to distant future, because of climate change, allergy seasons may be a thing of the past and instead symptoms will be experienced all year round!
This is not good news for sufferers, especially ones with asthma as hay fever is a main contributor to asthma attacks during summer months.
And its not just hay fever suffers which are affected, The Sunday Times reported some time ago that early springs, increased pollen production and the spread of pollen-producing species could be causing allergic reactions in people who have never suffered from hay fever before and are now all of a sudden suffering from the symptoms. As temperatures rise the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is now warning that allergies could increase, especially in northern Europe (including Britain) which is likely to be worst hit.

The BBC have reported recently that the rise in CO2 levels have also been contributing to the increasing number of allergies, and research has shown that pollen counts have risen in cities compared to rural areas.
Looks like I should stock up on tissues and allergy tablets…

©Katie Anderton

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