About 30 per cent of Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies. (iStock)

Climate change making allergies worse


It’s allergy season in Canada and the news is not good for those who suffer from symptoms like sneezing, a stuffed up or runny nose, cough, asthma or itchy eyes. Climate change has caused warmer temperatures and changing carbon dioxide levels in the air.

As a result, some of the plants that cause a reaction are producing more pollen, the pollen may contain more proteins that cause a reaction and the allergy season is lasting almost a month longer. Beyond that, some plants are moving into regions where they did not grow before.

Trees and plants come alive earlier in the year releasing pollen that can trigger allergies.

Dr. Mariam Hanna is seeing more allergy-sufferers with more severe symptoms.


More patients, worse symptoms

“We are definitely seeing an increase in the number of patients that report seasonal allergies and do have confirmed seasonal allergies on testing,” says Dr. Mariam Hanna, an allergy specialist and professor at McMaster University in Ontario. “The severity of the allergies that affects most of our patients is increasing as well.

“From my personal practice, I can tell you that the patients’ age at first presentation is getting to be younger and younger. So, these are little people that are starting to report seasonal allergies in addition to adults having new onset seasonal allergies or having progression in the severity of their symptoms.”

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, don’t hang your clothes to dry outdoors.

Medication and practical advice help

Symptoms can go on for weeks and months, and for 80 per cent of people who have asthma, pollen can trigger difficulty breathing. There are over-the-counter medications that reduce symptoms. For some allergy sufferers, doctors suggest a series of injections to desensitize them to their triggers. This is called immunotherapy.

Other measures can help people avoid the things that provoke symptoms. Allergy tests can determine exactly what a person is sensitive to and some websites provide information as to what pollen is in the air on a daily basis.

With that information allergy-sufferers can try to avoid their triggers by closing windows and using air conditioning where possible. Doctors recommend that when they come indoors they leave their shoes outside and that they change their clothes. The clothes worn during outdoor activities should be laundered and dried in a clothes dryer, not outdoors.

You might look forward to winter

About 30 per cent of Canadians suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies. The season can last from April until a hard frost, usually in November. Cold winters stop the pollen, but they don’t last as long as they used to. And there are indoor allergens that can cause problems, too.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Health

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.