Chicago allergy season made worse by `pollen tsunami` - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Allergy symptoms worse than ever? Blame the `pollen tsunami`

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Dandelions start out pretty, but guess what they do to most people? Itchy eyes, runny noses, and scratchy throats. And unfortunately for most, all of those symptoms could get worse since.

Allergy season runs from April through October and for weeks already, pollen counts have been high in the Chicago area.

Dr. Joseph Leija says he knew this was going to be a bad allergy season and refers to it as "a pollen tsunami."

"This time in February it was rainy and cold and then, for the past four weeks the grass is getting pretty worse and never before have I seen so much pollen and the flowers and the trees," Leija says.

"You can feel it," one allergy sufferer says. "Like my nose feels swollen all the time and you know, sometimes I even get a raspy voice from breathing it in."

"I get like a congestion, watery eyes, itchy eyes you can feel like in North Carolina you can feel the pollen on you, it's not fun," adds another.

While we all suffer through the symptoms and take our medicine, we still have to wonder, why are your allegories so bad now?

The heavy rains, the wind, and now the hot humid temperatures are like a pressure cooker for mold, grass, weeds and trees.

Dr. Leija has been measuring pollen counts at Loyola University Health system's Gottlieb Memorial Hospital for 20 years. Each morning, the allergist takes a sample of the air, checks it out, and logs the data. The information is then shared all over the Midwest.

He gives these tips to control allergies:

  • Control the air in your house or car by keeping the windows closed and turning on the air conditioner.
  • Use a nasal rinse or salt water to wash the pollen out.
  • Wash your hair before bed and change the pillowcases on your bed more often.

The city and the suburbs have been hit pretty bad. Dr. Leija says Elmwood Park and River Forest were hit a bit harder because they have a lot of trees in the area.

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