ALLERGY ALERT: High Pollen Count

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Think that runny nose and itchy eyes are signs of a cold?  There's a good chance they could be symptoms of something else.  Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of allergy season. 

“Itchy eyes.  Definitely, it looks like every day they`re red and swollen,” says Amanda Brunkhorst.

“My boys and my husband suffers a lot from allergies,” says Melissa Bice. 

Dr. James Wille says judging from the calls to his office, now is the peak time for allergies.

“There’s trees, grasses and then weeds and that’s what we’re in now,” he says. 

Some seasons are worse than others, but the symptoms are always the same.

“When you can`t breathe through your nose, that`s an uncomfortable feeling and then marked itching, tearing, redness of your eyes and then extreme runs of sneezing,” says Wille.

Bad news if you're the one sniffing and sneezing.  Things could get even worse this week.  According to, the pollen count expected to rise even higher Thursday and stay there the rest of the week.

“I just take Claritin or whatever I can find,” says Brunkhorst.

“Nasal spray and allergy medicine and we just deal with it.  Take a good shower, wash off all the pollen,” says Bice.

If an over-the-counter remedy doesn't do the trick, consider a trip to the doctor.

“Getting in the medicine earlier is certainly a big plus rather than always trying to catch up with your symptoms,” says Wille.  “You can only hide out indoors so much.”

Wille says the allergy season typically ends around Halloween after the first few freezes.

Today, the State Hygienic Lab at DMACC's campus put the ragweed count at 117 and the total pollen count at 131.  To put that in perspective, officials say people can show symptoms at any level over ten.


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