Worst allergy season in early fall, not spring

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WICHTA, Kan. -- As Spring goes into full swing, another season is approaching: allergy season.

Some say that because of the long winter, this year may be extremely tough for those who suffer from allergies. Many plants are expected to bud at once. Yet, people shouldn't experience anything unusual this year, said Dr. Thomas Scott, an allergist with Via Christi Clinic.

"If you're pollen-allergic, not only are you likely to have tree-pollen allergy, you're probably going to have grass-pollen allergy. Well, guess what? Grass pollen is here," he said.

Scott said that tree pollens emerged around January and gross pollens came about two weeks ago. Soon, allergy sufferers will need to grab tissues and medications.

The best medication, Scott said is Benadryl, but it often makes people drowsy and only lasts a few hours. He said the best alternative is an over-the-counter allergy medication like Allegra or Claritin. Though, he does recommend that people consult a physician before they self-prescribe. Most people suffer from multiple allergies. A doctor can help pinpoint the problem and recommend an effective solution.

As much as some dread the spring allergies, the worst of season allergies have yet to come. Scott said that early fall -- just after Labor Day -- is the worst because of the excessive pollens, heat and strong winds blowing them around.

"Since we have a lot of agriculture in the state, hay bales are out there' they produce a lot of pollen -- I mean, a lot of mold spores," he said. "Ragweed pollen is up and also grass pollen comes a lot bit back in the fall as the temperatures moderate from a hot summer."

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