Updated Apr 16, 2021 - News

You're not imagining it. Allergy season is worse.

Illustration of a pattern of tissue boxes.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Already suffering from itchy eyes, congestion and other surefire signs of seasonal allergies? You're not alone.

What's happening: It's not your imagination. Allergy season has gotten longer and more irritating in recent years, Teddie Potter, director of planetary health and a clinical professor at the U of M School of Nursing told Torey.

  • "The fact that [people are] more miserable is real," she said.

Driving the trend: Pollen levels have been rising steadily for a decade due to the changing climate, Potter said. A rise in invasive plants has also exposed Minnesotans to more types of pollen that could cause a reaction.

  • Studies have found the season starts about 20 days earlier than it did in the 1990s.

Another factor? The pandemic might actually be heightening our allergy awareness.

  • "People are outside more often and taking walks more often ... so I think they’re paying attention to shifts and changes," Potter said.
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