How to keep spring allergies from blooming
They say April showers bring May flowers, but this tends to happen a little earlier in Cleveland.
The previously bare trees across Lee’s campus have begun to blossom into a vast array of colorful blooms, but this is not the only gift springtime brings. Classrooms fill with a chorus of sneezing and coughing as students arrive with swollen eyes and itchy throats.
Pollen allergies, also known as hay fever, occur when plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Most of the pollen that cause allergic reactions comes from trees, weeds and grasses, of which there is an abundance on campus and in the Cleveland area.
According to a study from John Hopkins Medicine, eight percent of adults in America struggle with pollen allergies. Symptoms include but are not limited to: itchy eyes, nose, throat and ears, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness.
If you are someone who suffers from allergies or are hoping to avoid the symptoms, here are some ways to keep those allergies under control during the springtime.
One of the best ways to know how severe the pollen count will be for the day is to check your local television or radio station, your local newspaper or the internet for current pollen levels.
If levels for the week are looking high, be proactive and take allergy medications or use decongestants ahead of time.
Additionally, keep the doors and windows of your homes and cars closed as often as possible. Keeping these open throughout the day or at night allows pollen to enter your safe space, and it can be hard to remove it.
Pull out a dehumidifier to allow your air to remain clean, dry and pollen-free, making it easier for you to breathe during allergy season.
Try over-the-counter medications.
Some of the most common medications that help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies are Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec. These medications can be easily found at your local drug stores.
Decongestants in the form of nasal sprays also help relieve pressure on the sinuses. Afrin is the most common nasal decongestant that is used to clear the nasal cavity and allow for temporary relief.
Allergy eye drops can bring relief for those that deal with itchy eyes, and senior exercise science major Becca Brewer relies on this remedy.
“My allergies make my eyes itch and swell up, so I try to find allergy eye drops I can put in or take some sort of medicine that helps with itchy eyes as well,” said Brewer.
For some, these medications simply are not enough. Sophomore business management major Madison Toole said she is currently dealing with extreme allergies.
“I usually just drink lots of fluids and take over-the-counter medicine like DayQuil, NyQuil or Tylenol sinus,” said Toole. “Sometimes that isn’t strong enough, so I have to go to the doctor and get a prescription.”
Toole has already visited the Health Clinic on campus for further assistance with her allergies.
The campus clinic is a dependable resource for dealing with allergies that seem beyond your control.
Give your sinuses a shower.
Many people take the time to rinse their sinuses when allergies get out of control. One of the most common ways of doing so is by using a Neti pot.
When using a Neti pot, it is important to clearly follow directions. Here are step-by-step directions on how to use a Neti pot to avoid damage from improper or excessive use according to HealthLine.
For more information on seasonal allergies, you can visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology website.