Longer allergy season tough on eyes

April 20, 2011

The length of the ragweed season at latitudes above 44 degrees North ?which includes many states in the midwestern and northeastern U.S. ? has increased by as much as 13 to 27 days since 1995, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jacksonville, FL-The length of the ragweed season at latitudes above 44 degrees North-which includes many states in the Midwest and Northeast-has increased by as much as 13 to 27 days since 1995, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“A fundamental aspect of climate change is the potential shifts in flowering phenology and pollen initiation associated with milder winters and warmer seasonal air temperature,” the researchers wrote. “Earlier floral anthesis has been suggested, in turn, to have a role in human disease by increasing time of exposure to pollen that causes allergic rhinitis and related asthma.”

The longer allergy season could be particularly rough on eye allergy sufferers, said Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, clinical director, Koffler Vision Group, Lexington, KY.

“Ocular allergies affect one in every five individuals, and it’s estimated that 50% of individuals with seasonal and indoor allergies also experience some degree of ocular allergy,” Dr. Karpecki said.

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