Why your allergies get worse every year

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

These spiney spheres are plant pollen, as
seen under a microscope. They’re the culprit behind most seasonal
allergies. Pollen can cause your immune system to kick
into overdrive because your body sees the pollen as a harmful intruder. As a result, the body produces histamines. Normally, they promote healing by increasing
blood flow and inflammation. But they can lead to the nasty symptoms we
associate with allergies — like sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes. Generally, people who suffer from allergies
have it bad for several weeks during certain plants’ growing seasons. But because of climate change, the level of
pollen in the air is getting much worse. And that’s bad news — whether you suffer
from allergies or not. In order to grow and produce pollen, plants
need to generate energy through photosynthesis. That requires water, sunlight, and a third necessary ingredient, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide exists naturally in the atmosphere,
but as we burn fossil fuels like coal in power plants or gasoline in our cars, we’re putting
more and more CO2 into the air. The more carbon dioxide there is in the air,
the more plants grow and produce pollen. Take a look at this graph. These bars are the level of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere between 1996 and 2015. And this line is the amount of pollen produced
per ragweed plant, a common source of allergens. As carbon dioxide increased, the ragweed produced
more and more pollen. And pollen is an important part of a plant’s
reproductive cycle. So more pollen means more seeds, which means
more plants producing more pollen the following season. But CO2 is increasing the level of pollen
in another way as well. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. And it’s called that because it traps the
sun’s heat energy in the Earth’s atmosphere and is helping warm the planet — sort of
like a greenhouse. As the climate warms, there are more days
above freezing, which means more time that plants are active and producing pollen. This graph shows the number of days with above-freezing temperatures in the US over the past 120 years. In the past 50 years, the US growing season
has increased by over 10 days, on average. And this isn’t happening at the same rate everywhere. This map shows the increase in pollen season
for ragweed between 1995 and 2015. While some places, like Texas, didn’t see
much change in their ragweed pollen season, most places — especially those in the northern
US and southern Canada — saw pollen season increase by almost a month. And this isn’t just happening in North America. Overall, most places around the world are
seeing longer growing seasons — and, as a result, more days with pollen as well. Pollen levels and allergies are only going
to get worse from here if carbon emissions continue the way they are. This is the current production level of grass
pollen, another common allergen source. By 2060, that level is expected to double. And by 2085, that amount will have more than
tripled. While allergies can be annoying for the 1
in 5 Americans that suffers from them, they can usually be kept at bay with over-the-counter drugs. But in some, allergic reactions can lead to
severe reactions like anaphylaxis, where blood pressure drops and airways start swelling
shut. And pollen grains can wreak havoc on people’s
lungs, even if they don’t suffer from seasonal allergies. In the US, Asthma attacks induced by pollen
have lead to more than 20,000 emergency room visits per year. So if for no other reason than to protect
your sinuses, it’s important to reduce the amount of CO2 we’re adding to the atmosphere. It can help curb how much we’re warming
the planet and it can help slow the pollen-ocalypse. If your best strategy to avoid seasonal allergies is to stay indoors all spring, then you might want a way to stay connected and that couldn’t be easier to do from the safety of your pollen-free bunker. Hover makes it simple to buy interesting domains with great extensions like .earth or .space. Even if you don’t need your own domain, like “[email protected]” And right now you can get 10% off of your first purchase by going to Hover.com/vox. Hover doesn’t impact our editorial, but their support makes videos like these possible.

100 thoughts on “Why your allergies get worse every year

  1. Hope everyone enjoys this video, which takes a look into the effects of climate change on season allergies and pollen cycles. If you like our videos and want to help us make even more of them, take a second to check out the Video Lab: http://bit.ly/vox-video-membership

    Thanks for following our channel and watching our stuff! 🌻🐝

  2. Mine have gotten progressively better since I was a kid. I was allergic to grass, pollen, dust, chocolate, you name it. Now if I roll around on grass with my daughter I itch a bit but no more hives. I eat chocolate like I was never allergic. Dust doesn't make me sneeze anymore. I attest it to being a heavy smoker when young, quit at 33 7 years ago, and would smoke in my apartment with windows closed. Explain that.

  3. Because your immune system is getting progressively weakened by junk food, loaded with additives & preservative, and pharmaceutical drugs. That's why. That's also why auto-immune disorders are skyrocketing. Leave it to Vox for your daily dose of bullshit.

  4. Do a video on geo engineering causing this. Look up and you'll see your climate change. Don't be stupid.

  5. Watching that from Krakow Poland, the champion city of pollen/ frost free days increase chart. I was wandering why my allergy got worse in the recent years. Now I know

  6. What about other allergies ? Before i never had any allergies in my life, now im allergic to almost every fruit and also some seasonal flower allergies.

  7. Climate change is causing trees to reproduce more? EVERYBODY RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, THE EARTH IS DYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. My allergies don't get worse every year. I'd say they get better, because I learn more about how to manage them outside of INSTITUTIONALIZED REACTIONARY MEDICINE.

  9. Soo… The nature can fix itself? More co2 more pollen more seeds more trees that combat global warming?

  10. It wouldn’t be a Vox video if you didn’t hear “…and because of climate change…” in the first two minutes. Smdh

  11. as increased atmospheric co2 leads to increased plant growth and increased pollen, wouldn't that also result in increased oxygen production by said plant growth?

  12. What about tree pollens? I assume it works the same way but those could be increasing at different rates in different states than just the great plains

  13. https://youtu.be/oQbpbsY7qVQ I am allergic to nbcuniversal owned Vox trying to remove other YouTube channels

  14. first got hay fever when i was 16. got progressively milder every year. now i sneeze about 10 times all summer, its basically gone. I'm 40.

  15. Anyone else here just to bring down watch time and thumbs up ratios?

    Attack free speech and we attack back

  16. Nature please STOP combating higher levels of CO2 right now!!!

    Btw. my allergies got a lot better over the past 2 years, to a point where I pretty much don't even know about them, so I guess by "logic" climat change isn't real.

    (Hint: It is but it is a cycle.)

  17. If you see a tree. Get out of your Prius and cut it down. If you're not chopping down all the trees you see. Then you are advocating for climate change.!!

  18. You completely skipped the fact that plants consume CO2, thus reducing the greenhouse effect. More plants mean no global warming. This is so basic I have to wonder if you are hoping nobody took biology 101 so your lies can take root. Pun intended.

  19. This is nature's defense mechanism… It's saving the good things (plants) and doing it's best to kill off the harmful germs and virus (…..us)

  20. So climate change is creating more plants which absorb carbon dioxide and fight "global warming" almost like climate change up or down is a natural occurrence on Earth and is always happening

  21. Two questions:
    1.) What happened between around 1915 – 1965 because Co2 emissions were also rising rapidly, but the graph seems to show a downward trending line?
    2.) Pollen allergies do suck, but why shouldn't we be happy about faster and better plant growth? People are starving and better and faster plant growth could solve that. Now, the science on the Green House effect is difficult science and requires more independent research to reach the truth. The Earth is by the definition of science (the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment) the biggest science experiment in humanity, and to reach a 98.9% consensus about the Earth doing anything is preposterous. A 98.9% consensus about laws in science don't even exist because scientist always question the known. So to state that 98.9% of scientist agree that the Earth is warming and we can point to data that reaches back hundreds of years to temperature readings that are done by the brand new invention of the thermometer is an incredibly foolish statement. Think about all the variables about measuring the temperature of the earth!

  22. Read the title of the video. Get panicked. Think it has to do something with my body. Relieved that it's only about some climate change hysteria again.

  23. my allergies dont get worse every year, bc every year i evolve, i learn how to treat my body better and stay on top of its needs.

  24. Hey A-holes! Stop attacking independent channels. I bet you have good content but I wont support censorship – and I dont care if you re-name censorship gatekeeping.

  25. Global warming has been a problem sense the ice age ended. It's natural the planet goes through cycles just like seasons in a year.

  26. “The more CO2 there is in the air, the more plants grow and produce pollen.” 😂😂😂 Oh no, because that’s such a bad thing

  27. You do realise that more pollen means more plants right? 🙄 if there was a lack of pollen, that would be something to worry about.

  28. Local honey….work it in your diet everyday, start about a month before your allergy symptoms start. You think I wouldn't have to say this but this day and age: Don't do this if you're allergic to honey and as always consult your doctor.

  29. It's NOT Global Warming! The Earth is Changing Axis' and Magnetic Poles are Shifting. This WILL Cause Environmental Changes.

  30. I wasn't allergic to pollen until this year. It hit me pretty hard.
    I hate it.

    I thought I was going through the pre-stages to a cold.
    But my cold never broke out, I just had the same lingering symptoms for weeks. I still have them, and continue to sneeze when I leave my house.

  31. this morning i coughed so much i almost vomited and i've been having a bad headache for a whole week, a sore throat and i used a LOT of tissues. thanks climate change! 🙂

  32. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emission. You should definitely watch Cowspiracy on netflix to learn more. Truly eye opening!

  33. Someone should make allergen filtration stations, like home sized versions, on an industrial scale, to reduce the pollen impact on cities, towns, or communities. Probably won't happen because there is no money in that, helping the common good. It would be a good way to combat the problem though if it could be done using green energy, otherwise it would just feed itself.

  34. I feel bad, I don’t have any allergies and I’m not allergic to anything. I know how lucky I am but I often feel weird not having anything while everyone else around me suffers from it.

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