After a week of hot and hazy weather in Connecticut \u2014 and more to come \u2014 your allergies and asthma might be flaring up. According to board director at the American Lung Association, David Hill, M.D., temperature and air quality \u201cgo hand-in-hand\u201d when it comes to the weather affecting allergies and asthma \u2014 and it all starts with the ozone. While Hill said the ozone is helpful in the Earth\u2019s upper atmosphere in protecting humans from radiation and skin cancer, it can actually be harmful otherwise. \u201cIt\u2019s bad down at ground level, where it causes lung inflammation and irritation,\u201d he said. \u201cThe hotter it is, the more ozone and the worse the air quality.\u201d Hill, also a director of clinical research with Waterbury Pulmonary Associates, said that climate change is also increasing ground ozone levels and with that comes and increase in the number of days that are flagged with an air quality alert. Pollution also complicates the issue. \u201cThe I-95 corridor in Fairfield County has high traffic \u2014 lots of trucks, cars and buses emitting fumes \u2014 and combined with pollution because of the prevailing way the winds come from the Midwest up into the Northeast, it all leads to worse air quality,\u201d he said.\u00a0 While he does not have the numbers to confirm if there are any more cases of allergies and asthma this year as compared to others, Hill did say that "anecdotally, it has been a busy allergy season." When it comes to allergies, Hill said the variability from season to season in temperature and rainfall can affect allergen production, noting that tree pollen was especially high this season.\u00a0 \u201cWith climate change, there is evidence that pollen season is starting earlier,\u201d he said. \u201cThe trees are blooming earlier in the year because it\u2019s warmer and the pollen season lasts longer.\u201d The pollen that is produced can end up being more potent as well, he said. \u201cBecause things are warmer and carbon dioxide levels are higher, the plants produce even more pollen than usual, and it may be more allergenic,\u201d he said. \u201cParticularly when combined with the air pollution, specifically particular pollution \u2026 You can actually have compounds released from combustion that combined with the pollen can make the pollen more allergenic. That can lead to worse allergies and worse asthma.\u201d With half of adults and up to 80 percent of children experiencing allergy-mediated asthma, Hill said feeling one symptom may ignite others to surface. But tracking the root asthma this year has become more complicated because mask wearing has significantly decreased the viral infections that would typically trigger asthma.\u00a0 \u201cIt's all one airway from your nose and throat down to your lungs,\u201d he said. \u201cWhen you have a lot of nasal allergy symptoms, you're more at risk to lower airway inflammation and asthma related to the allergies.\u201d On especially hazy and hot days, Hill recommends limiting time outdoors if possible, especially in hours of the day with the highest temperatures, as well as paying attention to any air quality alerts. Additionally, resources such as Airnow.gov and Pollen.com, among others,\u00a0share a daily air quality and allergy forecasts by location.\u00a0 Even though summer activities are in full swing, Hill said it's best to play it safe when it comes to potential weather-related health hazards. "In some ways, it's sad because now is our peak time to go outside and do things," he said. "But if the air quality's not good, it's just not a good time to do that."