Bad Allergy Season For North Country

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The Watertown office of allergist Dr. Ludwig Khoury is seeing 40 percent more patients than last year at this time.

Alison Nilsson is one of those patients and she is feeling -

"Miserable.  When I get my sinus infections, I'm congested all up in my head and my throat's always sore and it's not so much fun," she said.

Dr. Khoury says allergy symptoms are more intense this summer.

"They would have fits of sneezing instead of just sneezing here and there, the sneezing that's not controled by just an antihistimine pill or something like that.  The eyes are very itchy, so I've given more eye drops than any other year," he said.

Khoury says allergy sufferers can avoid going out during peak pollen counts.

The second option is medicine and the third treatment option is shots.

"The allergy shots have helped so I didn't get so much sinus infection," said Nilsson.

Ragweed is the culprit of all those symptoms.

If you're really not sure what to look for, pull off one of the leaves, crumble it up and smell. 

If it smells a little minty, that's it.

Why is allergy season tougher this year?

"It's the rainfall.  The plants are more successful, they're larger, they're more lush," said Sue Gwise of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.

Ragweed grows just about everywhere along roads and in fields.

It's packed with pollen that's blown by the wind. 

"These are the male flowers at the top of the plant and they produce copious amounts of pollen," said Gwise.

This week is the peak of the ragweed season.

It lasts to the first frost.

Sunday, October 26, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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