MAYWOOD, IL –For more than 20 years, Loyola Medicine has provided the Chicago area with allergy counts every weekday via Twitter and telephone hotline during the allergy season. The Loyola Medicine Allergy Count will begin 2021 reporting on April 1.
Rachna Shah, MD, leads the Loyola Medicine Allergy Count. Pollen samples are gathered every weekday morning during allergy season from the roof of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Pollen grains and spores are collected from a cubic meter sample of air and counted under a microscope. The counts include daily numbers for mold, tree, grass and weed pollens.
"Daily allergy reports are important to our communities now more than ever in the time of COVID-19," says Dr. Shah. "When people experience allergy symptoms, they can look to our counts and identify the causes of their symptoms. It's an extra layer of security when everyone is on high alert regarding their health."
Spring allergies most often cause itchy, watery eyes and runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion and post-nasal drip. Difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and/or shortness of breath also can be caused by seasonal allergies. Unlike COVID-19, seasonal allergies will not typically bring on a fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat and loss of taste and smell.
Allergy season commonly runs from March through the first hard freeze in October. Trees reach peak allergen season from March to May, grass from May to June, and weeds and ragweed in August. Mold peaks occur in damp conditions throughout the season.
The daily report for the Loyola Medicine Allergy Count can be found on Twitter and by calling our telephone hotline: 866-4-POLLEN (866-476-5536). For more information, please visit loyolamedicine.org/allergy-count.