Chicago, IL, June 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This summer the air may be heating up more than we realize. Chicago immunotherapy expert, Dr. Brian Rotskoff, believes that this year's surge in allergy patients is due in part to climate change. The impact of global warming on the environment has long been studied, more recently with emphasis on the link between climate change and allergy symptoms, childhood nasal allergies, and asthma.
Global warming and the greenhouse effect are primarily fueled by measured increases in carbon dioxide. Research demonstrates that ragweed pollen production will continue to increase as temperatures and carbon dioxide levels climb. So while the air is heating up, plants are sprouting up and they're producing a record volume of pollen.
According to Dr. Rotskoff and a growing number of environmental and allergy experts, excess global heat is now a hot topic locally. At his Clarity Allergy Center practice in Chicago, Dr. Rotskoff is seeing a staggering increase in the number of new asthma and allergies cases. He believes the new "super pollen" is largely responsible.
"Climate change is an issue right in our own backyards and the effect is threefold: more pollen, stronger pollen, and more pollen-packed days," explains Dr. Rotskoff, whose schedule is filled with new patients, both adults and children who are suffering from asthma, allergies, and hay fever like never before.
More plants, more pollen
Researchers at the Rutgers University Center for Environmental Prediction, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, are studying global warming's amped up pollen production. They predict that by 2040 we'll see pollen counts more than double. Further, peak pollen season is expected to jump a month earlier from the start of May to the start of April.
Air quality breathing battles
Pollen isn't the only allergy trigger affected by climate change. As temperatures warm, ground-level ozone increases. Researchers at the Chicago Climate Action Plan predict that summer ozone levels could double by 2100.
"Poor air quality poses a significant threat to respiratory health, whether patients suffer from allergies or not. We're seeing more asthma patients every day and ozone pollution truly ups the risk for those with breathing issues," stresses Dr. Rotskoff.
Fighting the super pollen
"It used to be that patients with seasonal allergies could grin and bear it through the high pollen weeks with over-the-counter allergy medications," said Dr. Rotskoff. "Today, a longer, stronger pollen season means patients need a pro-active plan to stay ahead of the wheezing, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and itchy eyes."
For many, quality of life depends on knowing their exact allergy triggers and following a tailored immunotherapy regimen. A nationwide survey by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology reported that more than half of Americans tested positive for one or more allergens.
At Clarity Allergy Center, patients have access to in-office allergy testing and Dr. Rotskoff's expertise in custom immunotherapy. Both traditional allergy shots and new allergy drops provide effective means for achieving sustainable allergy immunity. Dr. Rotskoff's immunotherapy plans prove particularly important to asthma patients whose conditions are exacerbated by allergens.
"We're just beginning to scratch the surface of climate change's impact on allergies," acknowledges Dr. Rotskoff. "But we know that Americans are suffering with increased regularity. Immunotherapy is a safe, viable remedy."
Learn more at www.clarityallergycenter.comor call 773-877-3500 for an appointment at one of Clarity Allergy Center's three locations throughout Chicago, North Chicago, and Arlington Heights.
Source: Clarity Allergy Center