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Allergy season, one of worst in recent years
Sneezy, watery eyes, stuffy nose?
Headache, sore throat, trouble smelling?
You're not imagining things.
We're experiencing one of the worst pollen season in years in America's heartland, and today's windy conditions are only making it worse.
"We had a perfect storm this year," said Dr. William Storms, professor at the University of Colorado and a clinician. "It's the worst I've seen in 10 years."
Pollen.com's allergy forecast for today was 11.2 on a 12.o scale, with maple, birch and juniper providing the offending pollen for allergy sufferers.
But things won't get better once trees are through with their reproductive activities for the year -- grass pollen takes over in late spring and early summer, followed by ragweed and other weed pollens in midsummer to late fall.
If your allergies are interfering with your life, you might want to check in with your health care provider.
He or she may suggest antihistimines to reduce sneezing, runny nose and itchiness of allergies, decongestants such as pseudephedrine (be ready to show your ID) and phenylephrine for your snuffy nose, cromolyn sodium to prevent the body's reaction to allergans, or prescription remedies like nasal steroid sprays, allergy shots or eye drops.
Be careful with non prescription drugs like decongestants, which can raise your blood pressure, and don't use nose sprays or drops for more than three days, because you can become dependent on them.
It's hard not to go outside when the weather is nice after a long winter, but your best choice may be to stay inside in air conditioning with your windows shut if allergies are a problem.
Plus, shower or bathe before going to bed to wash the pollen out of your hair and off your skin before it interferes with a good night's sleep.
We may be in for some relief if the forecasters are correct and we receive some rain -- rain settles the pollen and clears the air, at least temporarily.
If you're like most of us, however, you'll just take a little medicine and get on with your life in hopes that next year's allergy season isn't so tough.