ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Are your allergies getting worse? Or for the first time ever? You’re not alone. It turns out Albany is becoming a tough spot for those with seasonal allergies. A recent study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American named Albany one of the top 15 “pollen capitals” in the country.
Based on visits to the office, Dr. Nora Perkins with Albany ENT and Allergy Services agrees with the study. In the last two years, allergy testing has doubled. Patients are coming in for a number of reasons. Dr. Perkins says, “Patients who typically may not have developed symptoms until May, may now present in March or April. So they may not recognize that their symptoms are pollen or allergy-related because it’s not what they are used to.”
Since 1970, the average spring temperature has rise 2.4 degrees in Albany. There was even more warming in the fall according to data from Climate Central. The seasons are not only getting warmer, but they are also getting longer.
A new set of 30-year averages released in early May show that between 1991 and 2020 the average length of the growing season, or the freeze-free period, was 169 days – that’s six days longer than the previous 30-year period. The growing season begins a day earlier in the spring and extends five days later into the fall.
So what does this mean for allergy sufferers? The warmer and longer seasons allow more pollen to be produced. It also means that allergy-causing plants can grow in new area, exposing people to new allergens.
Allergies are not necessarily a life-threatening conditions, but as Dr. Perkins says they do carry a high symptom burden and effect quality of life. If you developing new symptoms or are experiencing symptoms at different times of the year, she recommends getting allergy tested.