It’s not just your imagination: Allergies really have been more severe this year. Experts chalk this up to a variety of factors, including higher pollen counts in many parts of the country. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Americans in the western states suffered when mold and other allergens flourished in the hot weather, and drought conditions meant that the pollen could spread freely without rain to control it.
In the Midwest, warmer weather in some areas has allowed ragweed to flourish, according to WEAU News.
And according to Axios, city dwellers are suffering because of the disproportionate numbers of male trees planted in urban areas. Cities prefer to plant the less messy male trees, which do not produce seed pods or fruit. But without female trees, which capture pollen, the pollen-releasing male trees can send local pollen counts skyrocketing.