By John Dodge

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you are sniffling, sneezing, wheezing and feel as if your head is in a vice, you can blame those leaves emerging on the trees.

According to the latest allergy counts, taken in Melrose Park, show tree pollen to be extremely high.

The biggest offenders are mulberry, birch and oak trees.

On top of that, mold counts, boosted by recent rain, are considered at high levels.

Tree and mold counts have been high all week, but Friday’s combination is by far the worst.

An allergic reaction begins in the immune system.

The body’s immune system protects from invading organisms that can cause illness. If you have an allergy, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader.

This causes the release histamine, which causes people to sniffle and develop water eyes, among other symptoms.