Four things you didn’t know about seasonal allergies


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Maggie, is it posted twice to represent in the first, the dendritic cell response and later mast cell immune response? Just teasing you. :smiley:

Very interesting, in all seriousness. I know that scientists seem to be boarding the hygiene train, but has anyone examined the possibility of climate change playing a role?

Clicking on “Show Full Post” brings up an error message.

In Chicago, there was a huge increase in seasonal allergic responses starting a year or two after Mayor Daley went on a planting binge, adding an astonishing number of new trees to public landscaping. It was suggested that one gender of trees was chosen over the other (the one that flowers, so the trees would be more spectacular to look at) and thus there was significantly more pollen in the air.

This was reported in respected news programs and major papers, but that doesn’t guarantee accuracy.

(p.s. the “quote reply” option didn’t work either…I had to highlight the text and then hit just the regular “reply” to get the quote above)

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Eh, I forgot to explain the climate change connection…

The tree planting coincided (approximately) with our area of the country shifting from Zone 4 to Zone 5 thanks to climate change, which caused the expected growth and flowering patterns to be underestimated.

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Interesting, thanks. I do some urban gardening and I’ve noticed, other than this Winter which was unusually cold, annuals have returned as perennials (not reseeding, which occurs normally). So I think you’re on to something with the zone-changing.

Seasonal allergies are highly responsive to the placebo effect.

So psychosomatic…

It’s not only human-added planting changes that have occurred as climate zones have changed. Existing plants are an issue. A lot of people with allergies are allergic to grasses and trees, and those may not be flowering plants. They’ll keep producing pollen as long as they can, not for a set timed cycle. (For a lot flowering plants, making a flower is the end of their efforts.) Current weather patterns - especially in the Pacific Northwest - have meant a longer spring. That in turn means a longer allergy season.

Not only that, people may not intentionally plant some species, but weeds may instead move on the wind and grow in areas where temperatures or water conditions previously prevented them. So they become invasive plant species because they really don’t belong in the area (watch out for them, they’ll bring new insects to your garden), and yeah, people may develop allergies to them.

Climate change is definitely affecting allergy sufferers.


My son has terrible spring-time allergies. My wife gives him a “homeopathic” remedy whose ingredients are basically: “Ingredients: Water, Lies.” But I keep silent because I don’t want to ruin the placebo effect he gets from it. His nose seems to run just as much, but he transforms from abject-misery to dealing-with-it.


i still haven’t figured out how to give myself a placebo. so i have to take the claritin. i’ve been thinking about inventing a pill randomizer-dispenser. so you know there’s a couple claritin with the sugar pills in there, but you never know what you’re going to get. …based on the firing squad blank concept.

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