Local Allergy Forecast

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Allergy sufferers could be getting hit from every angle today as the pollen count for all allergens are very high for the first time this season, a local specialist says.

“Mold, weeds and ragweed are all high, and also grass is high, which may surprise many people,” Dr. Joseph Leija, a Loyola University Health System allergist, said in a statement.

Corn grass is the culprit, with high levels are caused by harvesting of the corn, which is a member of the grass family, according to Leija, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official count for the Midwest.

Leija blames sunshine, humidity and hot temperature — combined with the recent rains — for keeping the mold count consistently high. Add in the corn grass and “headaches and sinus congestion will be common among Chicagoans today,”  he said.

“Midwesterners with sensitive respiratory systems will feel general fatigue and  experience itchy throats and  runny noses,” the statement said.

He advises allergy sufferers to stay indoors, keep windows closed, run air conditioners, and take their medications.

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