Extreme Weather, Extreme Allergies

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Chicago, IL, Aug. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heat waves, storm disasters, flooding, and droughts. Each year, climate change stirs up new and more extreme weather conditions. As we make our way through stifling summer days and damaging hurricanes and wildfires, the air around us is changing. The result, while subtle for some, is actually a major healthcare crisis in the form of allergic diseases like allergic rhinitis and asthma, according to World Health Organization (WHO).


Dr. Brian Rotskoff is a Chicago asthma, allergy, and immunotherapy expert at Clarity Allergy Center. The increase he sees in allergy-suffering patients is just a snapshot of what's happening around the world. The global impact of climate change is causing extreme allergies in patients of all geographic and socio-economic levels, many of whom have limited access to quality healthcare.

Since patients experience varying degrees of allergy and asthma symptoms, the conditions are sometimes viewed as nothing more than a nuisance. According to Dr. Rotskoff, this is a dangerous assumption, particularly when it comes to children. Studies show that the younger and longer an individual is exposed to aeroallergens, the greater their likelihood of developing asthma and allergies.

"Minor sufferers may not realize the full impact of environmental changes on breathing and allergies, but in reality, quality of life is severely altered for many," explains Dr. Rotskoff. "Adults miss work, children are rushed to the ER, and globally, the fallout of asthma and allergic diseases is a major cause of morbidity."

The World Allergy Organization (WAO) studies allergic diseases around the globe and advocates for prevention strategies such as immunotherapy. Their findings highlight the crisis of climate change and allergic diseases.

  • Allergic diseases affect as much as 40% of the world population
  • Worldwide, an estimated 235 million people have asthma linked to allergies
  • Beyond air quality, environmental changes also affect molds, stinging insects, and even food allergies
  • Lower socio-economic groups have a higher incidence of asthma worldwide

Increased air pollution and environmental changes will continue to exacerbate allergic problems. Experts like Dr. Rotskoff believe that managing the impact starts with patient education and symptom prevention. Regardless of your position on global warming, the fact remains that allergies are worsening for the majority of people, young and old.

At his Chicago allergy practice, Dr. Rotskoff encourages immunotherapy for the prevention of allergy symptoms. "Over time, allergy shots and allergy drops alter the body's response to environmental allergies and aeroallergens," Dr. Rotskoff explains. "This treatment approach is really harmonious with climate change. As our environment changes, immunotherapy gives us the means to change the way our bodies process those changes."

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Source: Clarity Allergy Center