The U.S. has settled into the midst of allergy season, and not only is Sarasota the worst city for allergies in the state, but the sixth worst in the country. Even those who have never experienced allergies are getting symptoms of the April pollen affecting their spring.
Allergies are often caused by pollen deriving from plants and trees such as oak trees, hickory trees and mulberry bushes. Once these plants bloom, the emission of pollen into the air can cause allergies. 30% of adults in the U.S. experience pollen-related allergies, and for children, these numbers increase to a 40% allergy sensitivity rate, resulting in 50 million Americans who experience this discomfort.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “seasonal allergic rhinitis” or seasonal allergies are triggered by trees in the months of February to May, grasses in April and weeds from August through November. However, according to sources such as ABC News, air pollution and climate change issues play a major role in allergy spikes. Rising CO2 levels create longer and heavier blooms of pollen-producing plant life. This means that the longer the warm seasons last and the hotter they get, the more pollen that will be dispersed.
Sarasota Magazine suggests that Sarasota is the sixth worst allergy city in the country due to our abundance of oak pollen combined with red tide. This along with a steadily increasing out-of-state population provides a plausible explanation. The bigger the population gets, the more people are contributing to the allergy statistics in the city.