May 11, 2023 - News

Climate change adds more than 2 weeks to Indiana's allergy season

Length of allergy season in Indianapolis
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

Not only is allergy season worse — it's getting longer.

Driving the news: Allergy season in Indianapolis increased by 16 days on average between 1970 and 2021, per an analysis from Climate Central, a nonprofit climate news organization, Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng report.

  • That's based on the number of days between the last freeze each spring and the first freeze each fall — essentially, the annual window during which seasonal allergy sufferers are most likely to rely on antihistamines to get by each day.

The big picture: Allergy season increased by 15 days on average during the same time period across about 200 U.S. cities.

Why it matters: The lengthening allergy season is tied to climate change, per Climate Central, with big health ramifications for the roughly one-quarter of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies — and for respiratory health more broadly.

  • From 1990 to 2018, pollen counts increased by 21% nationwide, with the greatest increases in the Midwest and Texas, according to a 2021 study, Arielle Dreher reports.

Yes, but: At least we're not Reno, Nevada, where allergy season is now 99 days longer than it was in 1970.

The bottom line: If you feel like seasonal allergies are suddenly a bigger part of your life, here's some solid data backing that up.

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