Scorching heat helping to cause summer time allergy flare-ups, doctor says

Allergy flare-ups are normally a springtime nuisance for allergy sufferers, but doctors say the sweltering heat that has baked parts of the East Coast this summer could cause similar discomfort. 

Dr. Corrina Bowser of Suburban Allergy Consultants in Narberth, Pennsylvania says the stress that warmer weather puts on plants can lead to more irritants circulating in the air. 

"The warmer the temps, the more stressed the plants become, and we have actually found there is more allergen per pollen grain," Bowser said. "The heat itself and the warming can lead to differences in pollination periods and actually cause more aggressive pollen."


Unlike the allergens released by newly blossomed plants in the springtime, the summer irritants are from wind pollinated plants like trees. 

"I looked up the tree pollen count today, and they are still high," Dr. Bowser said "Usually tree pollen season is over in May, so we are now in August, and we still have tree pollen, that is unusual."

For people with both types of allergies, Bowser said it's possible that both allergy seasons can overlap to cause severe irritation. 

"People who have tree pollen allergies and grass pollen allergies may notice both of them together, and it's overlapping and causing more symptoms," Dr. Bowser said.