Welcome To Sneezin’ Season

By: Alayna Smith

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Allergies. Hay fever. Allergic reactions. As spring approaches, so does a long dreaded foe that goes by many names. For more than 50 million Americans this means that the weather in spring is only going to be threatening their comfortability.

Allergies can range from sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, to itching in the eyes, nose, or even the mouth. These are often symptoms that can be related to a multitude of other, more serious, allergic reactions, so if you are showing any of these persistently you should get professional testing to ensure your safety.

Seasonal allergies are often attributed to pollen being released into the air by new plants after a long winter. This affects roughly 8% of the population although the symptoms may not occur or the allergies themselves may not even develop until after or the end of adolescence. They happen when the body identifies substances like pollen that are in the air and enter the body as potential threats and begin to attack.

Most allergies can be treated with over the counter medications such as Benadryl or Claritin. These antihistamines work to block the body’s histamine receptors so that they no longer pick up on the unknown allergens and identify them as threats. Effects of these medications such as drowsiness can last for extended periods of time and affect those that use them so the best way to prevent allergies is to attempt to stay away from triggering substances like pollen and take medication when necessary.

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