Report finds Kansas City’s ragweed allergy season has lengthened by 25 days

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- August 15th used to be considered the start of fall allergy season, but ragweed pollen is in our air earlier and staying longer. A new report finds Kansas City's season is 25 days longer than it once was.

Funny how ragweed goes unnoticed until pollen hits our noses and eyes. Plants in our area are ready to pollinate. Those in Oklahoma already have, and the wind is sending that pollen up to us.

"It's kicked in probably about two or three weeks ago, I want to say. Yea, my congestion has been bad," Deanna Cabrera-Clark said.

Her allergist is Dr. Henry Kanarek of Overland Park.

"I've already seen it beginning of August. In fact, very end of July, started noticing some complaints," Dr. Kanarek said.

They're complaints he didn't used to hear until mid-August.

If you think our ragweed season is getting longer, you're right, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency.  It looked at 11 locations in the central United States and Canada. Kansas City's season lengthened by 25 days over the last 20 years.

"I think that's crazy. I didn't know they were doing a study, but wow," Cabrera-Clark said.

Only Winnepeg in Canada saw its season lengthen as much as Kansas City's.

Dr. Kanarek blames global warming.

"As the temperatures are rising, that is allowing the plants to flourish, bloom earlier and last longer," he said.

The allergist said his patients aren't getting much of a break anymore between spring and fall allergy seasons. He added that sufferers should begin using their nasal sprays now if they haven't already.

"They take a few days to a week to start up," he said.

And start those allergy pills as you notice symptoms because ragweed pollen is in the air and not going away any time soon. It won't until the first freeze.

Dr. Kanarek said to try to exercise outdoors early in the morning, and keep windows closed to keep the pollen out.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.