By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4)– Allergy season has exploded in the Denver metro area this year. National Jewish Hospital Pediatric Allergist Christine Cho, M.D. says that tree pollens are to blame, for now.

“Tree pollens are present in the spring, grass pollen is typically June through August and then weed pollens are August to first frost,” she explained.

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She says right now she is seeing a lot of patients with similar symptoms, “Incredibly itchy eyes, swollen around the eyes, runny nose, stuffy nose, constant sneezing, feeling pretty miserable.”

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National Jewish Hospital Pediatric Allergist Christine Cho, M.D. (credit: CBS)

Amee Estill says she is allergic to everything and knows those symptoms well.

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“Just constant eyes and ears and nose and throat and then being a singer, it’s really tough, you’re constantly coughing, and everything’s a problem.”

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Amee’s two loves are animals and singing. Her volunteering at the Denver Animal Rescue and severe allergies almost took her ability to use her voice. Singing through the symptoms damaged her vocal folds.

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Amee Estill (credit: CBS)

“I think if I couldn’t sing it would just be like a part of my soul was missing.”
Through a combination of over-the-counter medicines and allergy shots, Amee is controlling her symptoms and singing again.

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CBS4’s Joel Hillan asked her what it was like when she could finally sing again, “Oh, indescribable,” she replied. “It’s just something I love to do.”

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Dr. Cho says that for a vast majority of her patients they are able to get patients medicines and therapies that work to control allergy symptoms.

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“If it seems like the over-the-counter medications are not working as well as they would like then I think seeing an allergist would be really important,” she said.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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