ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
B Vitamins Might Lower Stroke Risk
Antioxidants Abound in Cereals, Popcorn, Whole-Grain Snacks
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Add your Article

Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Climate change isn't only bad for the Earth, it may be bad for your health -- especially if you have allergies or asthma.

Global warming is making pollen seasons last longer, creating more ozone in the air, and even expanding the areas where insects flourish, putting more people with bee allergies at greater risk, experts say.

"Climate change will cause impacts in every area. Wet areas will get wetter, and drier climates are getting drier," said Dr. Jeffrey Demain, director of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska, and a clinical associate professor at the University of Washington.

Those changes will mean more people with allergies and asthma will suffer. In wet areas, mold allergies will spike, while in drier areas pollens and other airborne irritants will become more of a problem, he said.

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it believes carbon dioxide and five additional greenhouse gases are dangerous to human health. This finding may eventually lead to environmentally friendly changes, such as regulations for cleaner energy and more fuel-efficient cars.

But, right now, problems caused by climate change are already evident, especially in Alaska, Demain said.

"There's been a significant shift in the ecosystem because of the rises in winter temperatures," he said. "On average, Alaska's temp has risen 6.4 degrees in winter and 3.4 degrees overall. And, the earlier the snow melts, the earlier the pollen cycle begins."

In addition to longer pollen seasons, the plant and tree life is changing along with the warmer temperatures. Demain said it's estimated that 90 percent of the Alaskan tundra will be forested by 2100, and that the types of trees that are most common are changing, too.

The warmer temperatures are also attracting insects. In the past, Alaska hasn't had too many stinging insects. But, said Demain, northern Alaska has recently seen a 620 percent increase in the number of people seeking care for bee stings.

Although Alaska's experience may be more dramatic than the rest of the United States, it's definitely not the only region that's experiencing change.

"We're having warmer, wetter winters, which lead to long springs and an increase in seasonal allergens," said Dr. David Peden, director of the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Peden also said that ozone levels are higher, which causes more asthma symptoms.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Both Peden and Demain said that just being aware of the problem is the first step. Next, is to be sure you know specifically what you're allergic to, and then be aware of pollen and mold cycles so you can properly adjust your behavior when those levels are high.

"Pollens are usually highest in the mornings, but grass is elevated in the morning and evening. If you're tree- or weed-allergic, plan outdoor activities for the afternoon or evening. If you're grass-allergic, you might want to plan to be outside midday. Warm, sunny, dry days are usually the ones with the greatest pollen," Demain said.

Of course, it's not always possible to stay indoors, and treatments are available that can help you live with allergies and asthma.

"As mundane as this sounds, if you have allergic disease or asthma, consult with an allergist so that you have maximal therapy and information on seasonal concerns. If you're in an area with lengthy pollen seasons, allergy shots might be useful," Peden said.

"The climate is changing, and it's changing at an unprecedented rate. Whether it's a natural cycle, or whether humans are the cause, we have to recognize that this is happening," said Demain, who added, "Every small step [such as using compact fluorescent bulbs or driving less] is important. If we all take that step, we can have a big impact."

More information

To track pollen levels near you, visit the National Allergy Bureau.



SOURCES: Jeffrey G. Demain, M.D., director, Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska, clinical associate professor, University of Washington, and adjunct professor, University of Alaska, Anchorage; David Peden, M.D., M.S., professor, pediatrics and medicine, associate chair for research, chief, Division of Immunology and Infectious Disease, and director, Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Last Updated: May 11, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com