Does it seem like your seasonal allergies are getting worse and worse by the year? Is that sneeze of yours worse than it was last year? It’s not just in your head! So, what’s going on in the air that’s causing this increase in allergies?
According to a report by Science Daily and the researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, about 50 million Americans experience nasal allergies, but that number is increasing. Researchers say there are a couple pollutants that are connected to climate change which could be to blame for this increase.
Two gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, are responsible for setting off chemical changes in many airborne allergens, therefore causing an increase in the potency of allergies in Americans.
“Scientists have long suspected that air pollution and climate change are involved in the increasing prevalence of allergies worldwide,” said the institute’s Ulrich Pöschl. “Our research is just a starting point, but it does begin to suggest how chemical modifications in allergenic proteins occur and how they may affect allergenicity.”
These two gases can be found in certain chemicals that you may come into contact with frequently. Ozone can be found in smog and nitrogen dioxide is found in car exhausts.
Together, these two chemicals are not only causing allergies to be more intense but are also causing more people to develop issues with allergies. These two gases make it easier for allergens to prompt the body’s immune system, especially when it’s wet or humid outside.
Scientists hope to do more research on other airborne chemicals and their effects on the human immune system. Have you noticed your allergies getting more intense this year?