Illinois ranks among the nations worst for allergies

PEORIA, IL - If your allergies are driving you crazy, where you live might be to blame. With the weather so unpredictable, the allergy season has been getting worse and the Land of Lincoln is doing no favors for you.

For Melissa Jackson, a walk in the park seemed like her worst enemy.

"I would say I was extremely depressed, not to be able to go out and enjoy the weather," Jackson said.

Jackson's one of 50 million Americans who suffers with  itchy watery eyes, sneezing and coughing of seasonal allergies.  Melissa reacts to pollen, dust mites and mold.

Jackson adds, "I was so sick. I had to carry a box of tissues everywhere I went."

The environmental advocacy group Natural Resource Defense Council listed Illinois the third worst in the nation with poor breathable air. Dr. Purvi Parikh of the Allergy & Asthma Network says allergies have been getting worse in recent years.

“The weather has been so unpredictable, so the season has been longer. The pollen has been more potent because of the ups and downs in the temperature," said Parikh.

Experts say you don't have to suffer. Over the counter medications and other treatments can provide relief.

Parikh suggests, “Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Xyzal - all of those are 24 hours, so they can provide relief throughout the day.  And then the allergy nose sprays work even better than the pills, and they go right to where the problem is, so things such as Flonase or Nasacort.”

Doctors at OSF Medical Group say keeping the windows to your house closed during the night can help ease allergy symptoms.

"All those things can blow into your house so now what was your safe haven for avoiding those types of mold spores and pollens and things like that is no longer a safe haven,” said Dr. Kenneth Arnett of OSF Medical Group


Doctors suggest changing your clothes, taking a shower before bed and keeping doors closed in the morning, to help keep pollen out of the house.

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