BOSTON (CBS) — If you suffer from hay fever, climate change is doing you no favors. A new study from the University of Maryland finds changes in the timing of spring is linked to more allergies across the U.S.
Researchers surveyed more than 300,000 people and found that in areas of the country where spring starts earlier than normal, there was a 14 percent rise in hay fever. They found similar results in areas where spring starts later than usual.
Plants are highly dependent on temperature and even a small change in when a tree flowers can have a significant impact on how many people will suffer from hay fever each year. When spring arrives early, there is more pollen around for longer but when spring arrives late, many species of tree bloom at the same time, showering allergy sufferers with high concentrations of pollen for a shorter period of time.
The rise in hay fever is not only a nuisance for the allergy sufferer, but has a big economic impact on the country.