Happy and Healthy: Allergy Season

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     Seasonal allergies, known as hay fever, have been on the rise this spring semester. If you have been outside, I am sure you have seen the wave of pollen that has consumed South Georgia. Pollen has taken over our sidewalks, cars and now it is taking over our immune systems.

     What exactly are allergies and what effect does it have on our body? When your body is exposed to an allergen or trigger, like pollen, it sees this as a foreign substance and releases chemicals into your bloodstream. The release of these chemicals results in allergy symptoms.

     Although it may be easy to identify triggers, it is harder to avoid them. Common allergens for people include mold, grass, dust and the infamous pollen. It is merely impossible to completely avoid these triggers.

     If you haven’t had them by now, the symptoms of allergies are bothersome. After exposure, symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and sinus pressure. People who have asthma may experience shortness of breath and wheezing when the pollen count is high.

     The best way to overcome symptoms of hay fever is to take precautions. There are over-the-counter medications that may help your allergy symptoms, but as we are all on a college budget, we know money is tight. ABAC’s C-Store carries Zyrtec, Claritin D, nasal spray and a variety of allergy medications. If you find your symptoms worsening, visit ABAC’s Health Center located in the Health Sciences building.

     Money is a determining factor as to whether or not we have the accessibility to medications or health care.  There are other cheap and cost-effective precautions that we can take when it comes to allergy symptoms. For instance, when planning to go outside, wear protective sunglasses to avoid pollen getting into your eyes.

     Also, it helps to apply petroleum jelly to the outside of your nostrils to trap pollen. After being outside, be sure to wash your clothes to remove any excess pollen and prevent it from lingering.

     Allergies are not preventable by any means. The best thing that you can do is to make sure your symptoms do not worsen. You know yourself best, and you know what season your allergies will be at their worst. Take the necessary precautions and be sure to get ahold of your symptoms before they get ahold of you.

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