The air is getting warmer, the trees are beginning to bloom, birds are making their way
back from a long winter, and constant sneezing and itchy eyes have now sprung into your
daily life. Spring is finally here, and so are the allergies. For some people, with beautiful
weather comes misery, but there are lots of ways to stifle the sniffling.
The cause of allergies in the spring is thanks to pesky pollen, which are airborne grains
released by trees, grasses and weeds to fertilize other plants. When an allergic person
inhales pollen, it causes the immune system to believe the pollen is attacking the body, sending out antibodies to eliminate the allergens. This leads to the release of
histamine, a chemical that triggers the symptoms people usually face like a runny nose
and itchy eyes.
Nearly 50 million Americans have to deal with seasonal allergies once spring comes
around, according to WebMD, but unfortunately there is no absolute remedy to get rid of
them for good.
Where plants exist, so do allergies. In order to ease the irritating symptoms you may
want to do as much as possible to avoid coming in contact with pollen. To do this, stay
indoors whenever the pollen count is extremely high, which you can check by watching
your local weather forecast. WebMD also states that allergy symptoms are the worst on
days that are windy and the best on rainy days when pollen gets washed away.
Junior Megan Muller said that after a day where she has been outdoors, when the pollen
count is up, she makes sure to take a shower at night to get the pollen out of her hair so
she’s not breathing it in when she sleeps.
Another tip to follow is to keep windows and doors closed during the spring months.
Also, vacuum twice a week and cover your face to prevent any allergens from getting to
your face. It’s also important to clean the air filters in your home or dorm room often,
as well as any other places where pollen is likely to collect over time, such as shelves or
If none of this helps, there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription drugs that
can lessen the congestion and coughing you encounter.
Antihistamines are the best choice to decrease the amount of sneezing, sniffling and
itching; they work by lowering the chemical histamine in the body. Some popular
antihistamines are Claritin, Benadryl and Allegra.
“I usually take Allegra when my allergies are bad in the spring,” Muller said. “I used to
have really bad allergies when I was younger, but as I got older they became not as bad.”
Another over-the-counter medication that might be beneficial is a decongestant that
works by taking away mucus from the nasal passageways. Sudafed is a well-known
decongestant that can be bought in either tablet or liquid form. There are also many nasal
spray decongestants, which may work faster than an ingested type.
“I hate when my eyes get red or I’m sitting in class and my eyes start watering,” Muller
If you’re tired of trying to explain to people that no, you’re not crying and it’s actually
just your eyes watering and itching, bring out the eye drops. While they may only relieve
your discomfort temporarily, at least it will lessen the amount of concerned questions you
When none of these drugstore medications seem to be working, you might want to visit
your doctor to get a prescription recommended or even get allergy shots. Depending on
the severity of your allergies, this might be the best option that will greatly reduce or
even eliminate symptoms for an extended period of time.
Don’t let your allergies get the best of you this season. By controlling the amount of
pollen you get exposed to or taking the right medication, you can spring back to life and
feel your finest.