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Midsummer offers reprieve to allergy sufferers - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Midsummer offers reprieve to allergy sufferers

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Lush and green, it's a wonderful time of year in Vermont. But until this week, if you're allergic to grass, summer has meant misery.

"Unfortunately, you can have allergies year-round. There's a lot of different species of grass, but they share common protein allergens. So you tend to be allergic-- if you're allergic to one grass, you tend to be allergic to all of them," said Dr. Edward Kent of Timber Lane Allergy and Asthma.

But right now, Kent says there's a bit of a respite for those sensitive to pollen. It comes every year at this time when grass season dries up and before ragweed blooms next month.

"If you're allergic to tree, grass and weed pollens, this is the best month of the summer-- late July early August," Kent said.

Outdoor molds can still pose a problem for people. Microscopic like pollen, you don't see it, but with decaying vegetation in fields, Kent says molds sporulate and become airborne. But for pollen, he says the daily counts are at or near zero right now, so it's the best time to get out and enjoy summertime in Vermont. Nevertheless, Kent says you can still take steps right now to ease your symptoms when the next pollen season-- ragweed-- rolls in.

"Knowing you're going to be exposed inevitably, there's preventive medicines depending on what bother you and that can be an inhaled medication if you have asthma symptoms with pollens or nasal medications and we all know about antihistamines," Kent said.

And Kent says different forms of immunotherapy offer relief for those who suffer from allergies year-round. But for now, at least for the next month, he says allergy sufferers can enjoy a break from the sneezing, sniffling and scratching of those itchy eyes.

Ragweed season is expected to begin Aug. 14 and typically runs through late September or early October until the first good frost.

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