How seasonal allergies are becoming more severe each year

If you’ve been wondering why you or your family continue to suffer from respiratory allergies every year despite taking precautions and adopting common remedies, you’re not alone. Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, have been rising and worsening yearly, posing a growing concern for millions worldwide.

Unmasking the causes

According to Dr. Kristine Vanijcharoenkarn, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine specialising in allergies and immunology, recent observations indicate that while pollen counts fluctuate annually, there is an overall trend of longer and more severe allergy seasons. 

The possible reasons behind the intensifying nature of seasonal allergies can be found in recent studies.

Climate change

A study published in Public Health Research & Practice revealed that climate change triggers allergies. As the climate becomes warmer, it directly affects plant life and increases pollen production. Consequently, more pollen is released into the air, making allergies more prevalent and severe.

However, climate change’s impact on seasonal allergies doesn’t stop at that. It also disrupts the timing of the pollen season. With rising temperatures, spring arrives earlier, causing plants to release pollen sooner than usual, prolonging the allergy season.

There are also likely effects on indoor moisture, mould growth and fungal spore production. Climate change may also affect food allergens, stinging insect allergens and contact allergens.

Year or year rise of pollen grains as documented by Melbourne Pollen

Air Pollution and exposure to allergens

Our air quality has deteriorated over time, which poses additional challenges for allergy sufferers. Air pollution comes in various forms, ranging from vehicle emissions to industrial pollutants, and can severely affect our respiratory system.

When exposed to these pollutants, research shows that our airways become more sensitive and prone to irritation, making us more vulnerable to respiratory allergens like pollen.

A large and sophisticated body of research exists from which to gauge both current and potential future impacts of climate change and pollution on allergens and allergic diseases. However, most of this research is from countries other than Australia. Australian-focused research is therefore urgently needed. Australia’s vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change on allergic diseases is compounded by the precarious nature of aeroallergen monitoring, reporting and forecasting in this country.

How to manage worsening allergy seasons

Bad allergy seasons result in the aggravation of common allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, fatigue, rashes, and more. Not only are these symptoms unpleasant, but they can also disrupt sleep patterns and have a detrimental impact on overall productivity.

Although the impact of seasonal allergies is significant, there are steps you can take to mitigate their effects and improve your well-being. 


When it comes to combating the symptoms of seasonal allergies, antihistamines have long been a trusted ally. These medications are vital in providing relief and improving the quality of life for individuals affected by allergic reactions.

Remember, you don’t have to suffer silently from seasonal allergies. At Heathershaw’s, our friendly pharmacists – Jenny, Gavin, Michelle, Maria, Amy, and Jill – are dedicated to assisting you with different medication options and providing advice on allergy prevention strategies.

Stay informed

Stay updated on local pollen forecasts and be aware of allergen levels in your area. This information can help you plan your outdoor activities. Limit your time outdoors on high pollen days, especially during peak pollen hours. Consider wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from allergens.

Maintain a clean indoor environment

Ensure your home is clean and well-ventilated. Consider using allergen-proof covers for your mattresses and pillows. Installing air purifiers with HEPA filters can effectively remove airborne allergens and enhance indoor air quality.

In conclusion

Understanding the reasons behind your allergies and formulating a treatment/prevention plan with your health practitioner is the key to dealing with this condition in the long term. By taking action and staying informed, they are ways to enjoy each season without all the sniffling and sneezing.

Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

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