2014 allergy season unbearable, unlike any other - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

2014 allergy season unbearable, unlike any other

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If your allergies are acting up more than normal for this time of year, you are not imagining things.

This year’s weed pollen count is off the charts according to Dr. Joseph Leija, a retired allergist who counts Chicago’s pollen from atop Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park.

Leija has a special machine that counts the pollen and he collects the data every day for The National Allergy Bureau. His records indicate this year’s weed pollen is the highest it’s been in 20 years.

Dr. Leija blames “The Polar Vortex” for what some are now calling “The Pollen Vortex.”

“It’s going to be a big problem for people with running noses, headaches, congestion, and people who suffer from asthma attacks,” said Dr. Leija. “I don’t know if the snow had something to do with it, but we didn’t have pollen this bad, this early before.”

The biggest culprits are the daisies and weeds popping up on lawns everywhere.

Dr. Leija said when people pull those weeds or mow the lawns, they kick up the pollen making matters worse. Sufferers can help lessen their allergies by closing their windows and using an air-conditioner.

If you like to garden, try removing your shoes once inside your home and wash your hair at night. It also helps to brush your pets.

“If your symptoms last longer than three weeks, it’s not a cold. It’s your allergies,” added Dr. Leija.

He suggested using a nasal spray, then adding over-the-counter allergy medicine. If that’s not enough, he said it’s time to see your doctor for a round of allergy shots.

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