Climate change is making seasonal allergies worse—can your nose handle it?

March report says climate change is extending the pollen and mold allergy season and making it more intense.

Is your nose ready?

The body’s first line of defense against allergens is the nose, says Mansoor Amiji, Northeastern distinguished professor of pharmaceutical sciences and chemical engineering.

But the sheer amount of pollen grains now powdering the air from spring until fall can make it easier for invading allergens to slip past nasal filtration systems and enter the respiratory tract, Amiji says.

“We are always inhaling air—six to seven liters per minute or 11,000 liters a day,” Amiji says.

“All of that air is bringing in all of this stuff—bacteria, viruses, pollen allergens. Most of the time our mouth is closed but our nose is always open.  So the nose has to be the main filter to remove it,” he says.

Amiji, who co-wrote a study on why people are more vulnerable to catching colds during the winter months, says a higher density of allergens can overwhelm the nose’s defenses.

The result is symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, nose and throat, watery eyes, fatigue and coughing.

Read more at Northeastern Global News.