El Niño – What does it mean for allergy season?

We all know that El Niño affects the weather, but…

We all know that El Niño affects the weather, but will it affect your allergies?

For the more than 17 million Americans that suffer from allergies and hay fever, the answer is yes. Allergy sufferers will be in for a miserable allergy season this year, thanks to the milder temperatures and early spring season brought on by El Niño.

New Yorkers are used to colder weather in the winter, but thanks to El Niño the city experienced its warmest December on record and missed out on much of the usual cold weather. Without freezing temperatures to keep trees and plants dormant and reduce pollen counts, 2015’s allergy season lasted much longer than normal and some patients continued to visit us as late as November to help manage allergy symptoms caused by lingering grass and tree pollen.

You may think that the worst is over now that we’re back into the wintery swing of things (hello, snow!), but in reality things are just getting started. Spring pollen counts are affected by the moisture and temperature during the winter months. Because winter got off to a late start, spring will get here early – and as many of our patients know, that means seasonal allergies will be starting early as well.

Many of New York City’s street trees, while pretty to look at, will be pollinating earlier than usual this year and with higher pollen counts. Add in all the grasses, weeds, and flowers spreading pollen earlier than expected and you’ve got a perfect storm for a bad allergy season. Increased rainfalls brought on by El Niño can also be responsible for an increase of mold as well since mold thrives in damp environments, and the increased humidity caused by such weather can be the perfect breeding ground for dust mites.

With all these factors coming into play, allergy sufferers in New York City are in for a rough allergy season and may find themselves experiencing itchy eyes, redness, sneezing, congestion and other allergy symptoms earlier than expected. If this is the case, don’t wait to book an appointment. We can help you manage your allergy symptoms before they even start.

If you have questions about resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. Or, if you are looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

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