Midwest Allergy Sufferers Battling 'Pollen Tsunami'

(RELEASE) According to the National Allergy Bureau, the pollen count in 2013 so far has reached exorbitant levels, far beyond what we saw in 2012. Experts are calling this allergy season a "pollen tsunami."

"Heavy pollen counts started early this year and have reached incredibly high amounts," says Dr. Jordan Pritikin, a board-certified otolaryngologist at The Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center. "High counts in pollen grains and mold spores exacerbate the symptoms that allergy sufferers must endure throughout the season."

In May the National Allergy Bureau released pollen and mold counts that were much higher than 2012 for trees, grass, mold and weeds. For instance, trees had a count of 133 grains compared to 68 grains in 2012. The high levels are causing patients with severe allergy symptoms to seek out additional care.

"We are seeing patients with exaggerated symptoms—itchy and red eyes, scratchy throat, nasal inflammation, congestion and sneezing," continues Dr. Pritikin. "Patients who normally utilize over-the-counter medications for these symptoms might need to seek more aggressive treatment to combat the high pollen counts."

Dr. Pritikin suggests treatments such as allergy drops, steroid nasal sprays and allergy shots. In addition, there are ways to help lessen the impact of the pollen tsunami, including closing windows and doors in your home, showering after spending time outside and washing your hair before going to bed.

Key Messages:

  • Allergy season is typically from April to October, and according to the National Allergy Bureau, this year we are seeing extremely high pollen counts taking over the Midwest.
  • The high pollen counts for trees, grass, mold and weeds are causing more severe and exaggerated symptoms among patients. Allergy sufferers typically experience itchy and red eyes, scratchy throat, nasal inflammation, congestion and sneezing.
  • There are a number of over-the-counter medications that can help reduce allergy symptoms, but with the extreme pollen counts this year, many allergy sufferers might have to seek more aggressive treatments.
  • There are a variety of treatments available to help allergy sufferers get through the season. One of the safest and most convenient treatments is allergy drops, which lets patients administer the drops under the tongue in the comfort of their own home.
  • Another treatment is the steroid nasal spray, which can now be custom-made for allergy sufferers. A spray helps deliver the medicine straight to the source, allowing patients to bypass the additional symptoms that often accompany pill-based treatments.

About Dr. Jordan Pritikin
Dr. Jordan Pritikin is a board-certified otolaryngologist at Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center, a private medical practice devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of nasal and sinus disorders. Dr. Pritikin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, where he was selected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Society. Over the years, Dr. Pritikin has cultivated an interest in Rhinology, focusing his practice on diseases of the nose and sinuses, and has participated in clinical research exploring innovative therapies for chronic sinusitis. He has lectured at local and national meetings, developed informational and training videos demonstrating surgical techniques for the nose and sinuses, and has helped develop and refine instruments designed for sinus surgery. Dr. Pritikin and the Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center offer patients an unparalleled level of service, utilizing state-of-the art technology and innovative treatments while maintaining a thoughtful and caring approach. For more information visit chicagonasalsinuscenter.com.

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