Seasonal allergies on the rise as spring begins

Billie Jo Kubat

Billie Jo Kubat

The recent nice weather may have students excited for spring, but for some students on campus, spring doesn’t just mean nice weather and flowers; spring means the start of another allergy season.

“Symptoms of allergies are post-nasal discharge (runny nose) with a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and a person can seem really tired a lot during high allergy seasons,” said Brenda Andersen, the service associate director for the Student Health and Counseling.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “an allergy is characterized by an overreaction of the human immune system to a foreign protein substance (“allergen’) that is eaten, breathed into the lungs, injected or touched.” There are different types of allergies and different levels of severe reactions for allergies.

Some people who have allergies do not even have severe enough reactions to their allergens to know they have allergies. “Allergies have a genetic component,” says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. “If only one parent has allergies of any type, chances are one in three that each child will have an allergy.”

Pollens are a big problem for people who have allergies this time of year because of how windy it gets, said Andersen. Some SDSU students said they deal with spring allergies, as well.

“I have seasonal allergies to ragweed, some medical allergies, and I am also allergic to mold,” said Nathan Morrison, a junior economics major.

“I am allergic to fresh-cut grass and dust mites,” said Nikki Dietrich, a freshman pre-pharmacy major.

Other common allergies include animal dander, dust, pollens and hay.

Allergy symptoms are not just something people have to deal with in the spring.

“I have to deal with the dust mites in the winter because of how closed up all the buildings are that time of year,” said Dietrich. “In the summer I have to worry about the fresh cut grass when I am driving or walking around, my nose will itch or I will start sneezing.”

There is no cure for allergies, but if a person’s allergies are severe enough, they can get allergy shots to help ease their symptoms.

There are other ways to help prevent allergy symptoms, said Andersen.

“Keep things clean, shut your windows and doors; if you have pet allergies then try to avoid hanging around with pets, make sure you change out your air conditioner’s filters, and run a dehumidifier,” said Andersen.

To help with allergy symptoms, students could try taking an over-the-counter antihistamine like Claritin.