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Allergy season in full swing in south-central Wisconsin

Allergy season in full swing in...

MADISON, Wis. - If you're dealing with sneezing or itchy eyes right now, you're not alone. UW Health allergist Dr. Mark Moss said Friday that allergy season is in full swing here in Madison.

"Our phones are very busy; we're getting a lot of people coming in," Moss said.

Trees are in bloom across the area, with high pollen counts registered in Madison on Friday. Moss said oak, mulberry, maple and birch pollen are present right now.

Compounding the suffering for some, he said, is a more significant overlap between allergy season and cold and flu season this year than we've had in years past; a lot of people are still not sure what they're coming down with.

Moss offered advice on how to tell.

"If you have itching ... so itchy eyes, watery eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, clear drainage from your nose, it's more than likely to be allergy," he said.

Colored mucus, though, likely indicates some sort of virus.

As far as treatment goes, Moss said over the past few years, more over-the-counter medications have been made available; many of them are now non-drowsy.

Allergy shots are also an option for some, but they don't provide immediate relief.

Sublingual treatments, involving a small tablet under the tongue, are similar to allergy shots without the poke, Moss said, but can only build immunity to one allergy at a time and, like shots, don't provide immediate relief.

He said it's too late to try sublingual therapy for grass season, which begins in just a few weeks, but there is time to start them before ragweed season, which begins toward the end of summer.

To view local pollen counts, visit the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunlogy's website


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