April 13, 2015
Finals are a few weeks away, but students may have another reason to tear up this season: allergies.
Springtime in Colorado means allergy time, and it’s a medical risk that, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, affects over 50 million Americans.
Spring allergies can affect the body’s response to common traits of nature such as pollen, weeds, grass and hay fever. Common allergy symptoms include a stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing and sore throat. Severe medical conditions such as asthma can also occur because of spring allergies.
Stephanie Brown, freshman nursing major, is a Texas native and is experiencing her first spring in Colorado.
“I definitely feel a lot more of the effects here just being outside than I do at home,” she said. “My eyes get really itchy and my nose just starts to close up, it’s really uncomfortable.”
For her allergies, Brown usually takes over the counter medication such as Claritin.
“My allergies normally aren’t very bad. I just take Benadryl if it really gets to be too much,” Eric Bingham, senior mechanical engineering major, said.
Stephanie Hanenberg, director of the Student Health Center, explained why spring is one of the worst times for allergies.
“Everything is starting to bloom,” Hanenberg said. “The wind blows pollen, the pollen count has been very high in Colorado.”
A number of forecasts can predict the pollen around an area and can easily be searched online. Hanenberg said the health center gets daily reports from local allergy offices on what to expect during the blooming season.
“There are other [types of allergies] too. Pollen, trees and we haven’t received grass and weeds yet,” Hanenberg said.
There are a number of ways to arm yourself this allergy season, including knowing the forecast and taking medication for your symptoms.
“Over the counter generic allergy medication can help minimize symptoms,” Hanenberg said. “On really windy days, stay indoors.”
Hanenberg added that the health center does treat allergies of students. But those seeking prescription-strength medication would then be referred to their own medical provider.
Allergy shots have also been tested and responded well to patients in need of allergy relief. Talking with your doctor if symptoms become harder to cope with can lead to prescribed aid as well.
“Allergies can show up to any person at any time,” Hanenberg said. “Just because you have never [experienced symptoms] before does not mean that you cannot get allergies.”