Spring allergies leave students sneezing

Dana Owen

Atchoo! Sniff. Sniff. The sound of stuffy noses, dry coughs and sneezes can be heard echoing through the quad this week with the kick-off of the spring allergy season.

With pollen counts high and those smelly white trees in full bloom along Bobcat Alley, it seems that more students than ever are suffering from pollen and mold related allergies.

“I always get them,” sophomore Caitlyn McAteer said. “Every time I walk by those trees I sneeze and my eyes water.”

Even those who have never suffered from allergies before are finding themselves sniffling this spring.

Although there is no sure-fire cure for allergy symptoms, some ways to control them are to keep dorm windows closed at night to prevent pollen and mold from drifting inside, keeping car windows closed while driving and minimizing outdoor activity. After being outdoors for an extended period of time, sufferers should shower and change clothes.

Not sure whether that pesky cough is from allergies or a cold? According to the American Academy of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology, allergy symptoms may include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, wheezing, coughing and watery, itchy eyes. Symptoms will begin almost immediately after exposure to allergens and last only as long as the person is exposed.

Someone with a cold on the other hand, may experience additional symptoms such as a fever and aches and pains. Colds normally take a few days to hit full force and take several days to a week to clear up.

Despite the surge in allergy sufferers, some students who normally experience symptoms are feeling just fine.

“I usually get sick every year,” freshman Meghan Kelly said. “I’m always on medication and I have asthma too. But this year I have nothing. Everyone I know is sick and I’m fine.”