Allergy season no laughing matter

Mar 31, 2011

For allergy sufferers, April Fools’ Day means something better than a good laugh. It’s the start of the daily Gottlieb Allergy Count.

At 5:00 a.m. Friday, Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, will climb to the rooftop of the Gottlieb Professional Building in Melrose Park where he maintains a special pollen-catching machine. As he has for the last decade, Dr. Leija will carry samples down to his office, place them under the microscope and determine that day’s official allergy count for the Midwest. He will do this every business day through October, the end of the pollen-reporting season.

The official count is then posted on Twitter under GottliebAllergy, in English, and AlergiaGottlieb, in Spanish. The count is also available through the Gottlieb Allergy Hotline (1-866-4-POLLEN [English] and 1-866-ALERGIA [Spanish]) and at the Gottlieb Web site, www.GottliebHospital.org .

“It has been a very wet winter so there will be many respiratory irritants resulting in coughing and inflamed nasal passages caused by mold spores,” said Dr. Leija, whom is certified by the National Allergy Bureau to take and broadcast the official Midwest count.

“Chicago air quality is very poor due to pollution, weather conditions and plant life, and statistically we have more people than the average who suffer from symptoms such as scratchy, runny noses and watery eyes,” Dr. Leija said.

The count for tree, grass, weed, mold, pollen and ragweed allows allergy sufferers to better control their symptoms. They can decide if they must take medication that day or just roll up the windows while driving. Chicagoland media broadcast and publish the count prepared by Dr. Leija, a regional expert in allergies.

Dr. Leija and the National Bureau recommend the following preventive measures for those with allergies:

Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Peak pollen times are usually between 7 and 10 a.m.

Shut windows in your house on days when pollen counts are high. Use your air conditioner for temperature control instead.

When gardening or mowing the lawn, wear a filter mask.

Wash your hair at night before sleeping to remove excessive and potential allergens that could cause irritation.

Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hay fever season peaking

Sep 03, 2007

Last month's downpour in the Midwest has triggered an increase in mold spores but dampened the U.S. pollen count -- at least temporarily.

Spring allergies have arrived

Mar 18, 2011

It may look like the dead of winter outside, but the allergy season is already underway. Trees begin spreading pollen before leaves appear on their branches. Grass and weeds will begin pollinating later in the year.

Nothing to sneeze at: Real-time pollen forecasts

Dec 22, 2008

Researchers in Germany are reporting an advance toward development of technology that could make life easier for millions of people allergic to plant pollen. It could underpin the first automated, real-time ...

Hold that tissue: Allergy help may be on the way

Feb 13, 2009

It isn’t beach weather in most of the United States right now, but it’s never too early to be thinking about spring and summer. Unfortunately, for people with allergies, today’s daydreams can turn into ...

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

19 hours ago

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.