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Rough season for allergy sufferers

Brighton, N.Y. -- Doctors are seeing more people with seasonal allergies looking for relief.

With the late start to spring, tree pollen and grass are overlapping causing more misery for allergy suffers.

"I keep this in my purse not knowing what I'll need at what particular time," said Szeremetta Sumner as she showed us all her allergy medicine. "Even at 8 or 9, I went to the doctor a few times. I actually still have scarring over my eyes now just from rubbing my eyes until they were raw."

The last few years, they've gotten worse, and she's lost her sense of smell, and said her symptoms can be debilitating.

"I have been out of work for my allergies, I want to say 10 days," she said. "It starts off with the aching and congestion and from there it goes into a full-fledged sinus infection."

Sumner's doctor, Donald Pulver, said Sumner has extreme allergies, but he is seeing an increase in the severity symptoms across the board in allergy sufferers.

"This year was almost a carbon copy of last year," Pulver said. "The tree pollination was delayed because of a cold spring by two months and now it's coming out where the level is peaking and it's going to continue to peak for the next six weeks and that will overlap grass pollen."

Itchy and watery eyes, congestion and runny nose, ears popping, nose and headaches are just some of the symptoms seasonal allergy suffers face.

"(For allergy relief), stay inside for most of the time," Pulver said. "There are over-the-counter allergy pills that will help the itchy, sneeze, runny nose. There's now an over-the-counter nasal spray that is steroid based that is safe if used in prudent amounts like one spray each nostril twice a day, and that actually helps the itchy, sneezy, runny and the congestion."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 8 percent of adults suffer from seasonal allergies.

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Washington Times