"MELROSE PARK, Ill. — From the roof of the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in the Chicago suburbs, an 83-year-old retired doctor finds troubling evidence of why so many people are sneezing and itching their eyes."
"Joseph Leija counts the pollen and mold spores that collect on slides inside an air-sucking machine atop the six-story building. 'There's been an increase, no doubt about it,' he says of the 5 a.m. weekday counts that he's been doing as a volunteer for 24 years.
'My allergies are much worse than they used to be,' says Amanda Carwyle, a mom of three who lives 95 miles south in Pontiac, Ill. 'I used to be able to take a Benadryl or Claritin and be fine.' Now, despite three medications and allergy shots that make her feel a bit like a zombie, she says her eyes are watery and her head stuffy. 'I'm so miserable.'"