UK Tackles Allergy Season

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Updated: 4/13/2012 12:18 am
     Sneezing, watery-eyes, itchy throats.

     "People are really miserable," says University of Kentucky Allergist, Dr. Beth Miller.

     Allergy season is back in the Bluegrass with a bang.

     "Tree pollens are the dominant or major pollen.  Our counts this year are significantly higher than last year," Dr. Miller explains.

     And, thanks to a warmer winter, allergy season has arrived earlier than normal, by a couple weeks.

     "We typically have spring tree pollens until about late May, then summer grasses and then ragweed, of course, and other weeds in the late summer and fall," she comments.

     But, the University of Kentucky is keeping up with with the pollen counts everyday by using a measuring system on the roof of the Health Services Building.
    
     "You pull the mechanism.  This is the slide piece that the pollen clings to," explains UK Preventative Maintenance Tech Mike Mills.

     The slides with the pollen on them are taken out of this machine to a lab across campus.

     "We have the counts sent to us.   We document them and log them and send them to the National Allergy Bureau and they keep our data," comments Dr. Miller.

     Dr. Miller says it's also a way to keep the public informed.  She says if you have allergies, there are some things you can to do ease the symptoms.

     "Try to avoid high pollinating times.  Don't do things when the pollen counts are highest, mid-morning. If you're going to work outside, come in the house and shower.  Windows closed and air conditioning on are important.  A lot of people like to open their windows in the spring to let the air out but that's one of the worst things you can do," comments Dr. Miller.

     Of course, if you have serious allergic reactions, always contact your doctor.
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