KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Researchers at Children's Mercy Hospital have analyzed a decade's worth of data and found what appears to be a trend of earlier pollen seasons, which they believe is triggered by rising temperatures.
The group has discovered that during the past 10 years the oak pollen season in Kansas City has begun, on average, a half day earlier each year. The findings were to be presented Saturday in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
"It could be creating a longer growing season for oaks," said Charles Barnes, the Children's Mercy biochemist in charge of the hospital's daily mold and pollen counts. "You might have to start taking your allergy medicine earlier."
The Children's Mercy research is similar to other research worldwide that attributes earlier, longer and more miserable allergy seasons to global warming. Some researchers suggest that the growing abundance of pollen may be causing the rising rates of asthma and increases in hay fever, eczema and other allergies in many countries.