Pollen Counts Expected to Spike

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18-year-old Chiara Zanoni just finished her appointment at the Okemos Allergy Center. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with seasonal allergies. And it's this time of year she really notices the symptoms.

"Itchy eyes. Plugged up ears. Itchy ears."

"The trees pollinate in waves one after the other over about a two month period starting in April and ending in June," says Dr. Lawrence Hennessey of the Okemos Allergy Center.

He says weather also plays a huge factor in pollen counts.

"If it's raining, it will wash the pollen out of the air."

It's exactly the type of weather the area's seen the past few days. This weekend's change will in turn cause pollen counts to surge nearly to the top of pollen-dot-com's twelve point scale.

"About the only way to completely avoid pollen is to stay indoors, in air conditioning, or go someplace where that plant isn't pollinating and that's hard to do," says Dr. Hennessey.

As far as over the counter medications go, any antihistamine that contains loratadine can provide relief without drowsiness.

"If they find they have to use them constantly to get relief then it's time to see your doctor," he says.

That's what Zanoni did. And while she says the illness is a hassle to control, she's willing to deal.

"It's better to take medication than to have annoying symptoms."

Dr. Hennessey also recommends not going outdoors in the mid to late morning hours when pollen counts peak.

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