In Kansas City, when we started collecting the data, it was unusual for the pollen count to get over 1,000 (particles per cubic meter). Now it’s pretty routine to get up to 8,000. We never saw that before.
Kansas City Star: Are your allergies getting worse? Climate change may be to blame
By Kelsey Ryan
Itchy eyes? Sneezing? When spring comes around, many of us know the symptoms well.
For more than 20 years, physicians at Children’s Mercy have used a machine on the roof to collect daily pollen and mold counts to better understand allergens on a day-to-day basis.
But scientists have found something else over time: Pollen and mold counts are getting higher and lasting longer than they used to. Not just in Kansas City, but across North America.
The increase has led to worsening symptoms for many patients, said Jay Portnoy, a pediatric allergist at Children’s Mercy and professor at UMKC School of Medicine.
“Now, in addition to sneezing, we’re seeing intense problems with eyes — terribly itchy eyes,” he said.
They’re also seeing more people with oral allergies, in which foods such as melons, apples and carrots have a cross reaction with pollen, Portnoy said.
“Their mouth will become itchy and sensitized because of the pollen,” he said. “In Kansas City, when we started collecting the data, it was unusual for the pollen count to get over 1,000 (particles per cubic meter). Now it’s pretty routine to get up to 8,000. We never saw that before."
Read more via the Kansas City Star.
Learn more about the Children's Mercy Allergy, Asthma & Immunology department.