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Seasonal allergy sufferers beware!

June 14, 2017

Watch this video to learn when mold and pollen counts are at their peak

Feeling sneezy and wheezy? You’re not alone. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) reports allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay fever, afflicts up to 30 percent of adults.

“Pollen counts and mold counts vary widely, depending on many factors, such as location, the weather, time of day and the particular type of pollen or mold being measured,” says Sarah Peterson, M.D., Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) Medical Group physician and board-certified allergist-immunologist in Buffalo Grove.

Pollen count is the measurement of how much pollen is in the air at a certain time in a specific location. The higher the pollen count, the greater the frustration for allergy sufferers.

“In general, pollen counts tend to be high in the morning and again in the evening,” says Dr. Peterson. “They are highest on warm, dry, windy days and at their lowest point after a heavy rainfall.”

Mold counts can vary even more than pollen. According to the AAAAI, there are hundreds of species of mold in the environment, many of them invisible or difficult to see. When airborne, these tiny mold spores can wreak havoc, causing allergic reactions like sneezing, watery eyes, itchy or runny nose and nasal congestion. They also can trigger asthma if they reach the lungs in susceptible people.

“Depending on the particular mold that triggers your allergic reaction, mold counts might be at their highest point during the daytime hours or, sometimes, even in the middle of the night,” says Dr. Peterson. “But, in general, mold counts are greatest on warm, humid days.”

The AAAAI states that allergy sufferers have three treatment options: taking medications, undergoing immunotherapy or simply trying to avoid allergens altogether. Individuals who have allergies, or suspect they might have an undiagnosed allergy, should schedule an appointment with a board-certified allergist to discuss an individualized treatment plan.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Peterson, call 847-725-8401.