Chicago allergies: What's different about this year's grass pollen season

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing fits? You may be a grass allergy sufferer! But as I found out, the peak this year is a bit different than in years past.

I started by digging through the numbers of this year's daily pollen count, revealing that grass has only started to be registered since May 8. Part of my job is paying attention to these things, and it seemed a little later than usual. So, I reached out to Dr Rachna Shah, an allergist at Loyola Medicine.

"Our spring pollen season reflects typical patterns this year," Dr. Shah said. "Compared to the past three years though, it is late. The last few years we have had grass pollen starting in April so this year feels late, but actually the last few years, it was early."

That explains the late-feeling start, but what about the end of season? Dr. Shah said that textbook grass allergy season is typically the beginning of May through the end of June, which means that moderate to high levels of grass pollen will be with us for the next month or two.
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