Springtime allergy season is upon us

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

bee pollen
There will be an intense amount of pollen floating around this allergy season.

The long winter is finally coming to a close and making way for the beautiful spring weather. For most people, this means more time out in the park or the beach for glowing, sunkissed skin. However, for the 40 million Americans suffering from allergies, it means itchy eyes, runny noses, and even skin rashes. Unfortunately, researchers determined that this allergy season is going to be one of the worst yet.

Interestingly enough, seasonal allergies are actually mistakes made by our bodies! See, our immune system is responsible for fighting off germs and other substances that can potentially make us sick, and it does a pretty darn good job. For people who suffer from allergies, however, their immune system detects harmless pollen in the air and believes it is being attacked. As a result, it triggers the release of histamine – the chemical that causes itchy eyes, sneezing, and wheezing in allergic reactions.

Well, according to several experts, this allergy season won’t be particularly long, but it will be really intense. The seemingly endless, cold, and wet winter delayed the growth of plants that usually release their pollen early in the allergy season. Now, those plants are finally opening up thanks to the warm weather, but they are overlapping with plants that usually wait until the middle or end of allergy season to release pollen into the air. The result is a flurry of all types of pollen floating around in the air, which some people are referring to as a pollen vortex!

Featured image courtesy of Frederic Rivollier on Flickr. Image of pollen-covered bee courtesy of Lennart Tange on Flickr.