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Spring-time allergies are avoidable, here are a few steps you can take

Spring-time allergies are avoidable, here are a few steps you can take

Allergy shots from a cerium for students with serious allergies. After a student has seen an allergy consultant and it is determined weather they need they allergy shots and how often. Jackie Torres

Spring-time allergies are avoidable, here are a few steps you can take
April 05
21:08 2017

It’s that time of year again. The pollen storms that the South are known for are wreaking havoc on students’ immune systems. And with tests, quizzes, projects and more, students have to take on preventative measures to make sure they’re not out sick from school.

Over 50 million Americans handle allergies every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. At UNT, it’s the Student Health and Wellness Center’s job to provide students with ways to deal with their allergies and sicknesses.

Located in Chestnut Hall, the SHWC provides students with guidance and medical assistance to help them combat allergies. Assistant director of outreach at the SHWC Kerry Stanhope said that before they buy any medicine, students should first figure out what is causing their allergic reaction.

“It could be seasonal allergies, maybe rhinitis or hay fever, which is from the plants,” Stanhope said. “If a specific animal or person with a pet triggers it that shows it could be pet dander or maybe some sort of perfume. They also could be allergic to dust or mold.”

The first step students should take to combat their allergies is to try over-the-counter medications such as Allegra or Zyrtec. Benadryl is a common antihistamine; students should be warned to take it later in the day since it has been known to cause drowsiness.

The pharmacy at SHWC carries prescriptions for antihistamines as well as decongestants. Stanhope recommends that students take both an antihistamine and a decongestant to better fight off allergies.

“Antihistamines may stop the reaction of your immune system to the allergen that’s coming into your body,” Stanhope said.”That may help with the watery eyes and the runny nose, but it may not help with the congestion of your nasal passages.”

Students can be reluctant to purchase expensive allergy medicine due to high prices. Over-the-counter medication can be expensive, and often out of the budgets of most students. Stanhope recommends off-brand medicines, saying that basically, they are identical.

Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever, caused by mold, pollen and animal dander. However, students may also be having allergic reactions to food or perfumes. If students are unsure of what is causing their allergic reaction, Stanhope said they should visit the nearest allergy specialist.

An allergy specialist will be able to help the student find what is causing them to have an allergic reaction. They conduct a series of tests which will help the students learn what specific allergens they should avoid.

If students decide to visit the allergy specialist, they will go through a process where they are exposed to various types of objects that could be triggering their allergies. Once the trigger is singled out, they will create a formula that treats the student’s allergies specifically.

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, it’s common for people with allergic rhinitis to be” prone to itchy, watery eyes (from allergic conjunctivitis or eye allergies) and they may be more sensitive to irritants such as smoke, perfume or cold, dry air.”

Stanhope said that some cities, such as Denton,  form a “bubble” around them, trapping pollen and other allergens within the city. The allergens blow through the air until rain or windy weather removes them.

If students are interested in getting in contact with a doctor on campus, they can go to the SHWC. Appointments can be schedule ahead of time online or by calling the SHWC at 940-565-2331.

Featured Image: Allergy shots from a cerium for students with serious allergies. After a student has seen an allergy consultant and it is determined weather they need they allergy shots and how often. Jackie Torres

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Anna Orr

Anna Orr

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