Spring is in the air (pollen, too)
Adriana perez Collegio Reporter
According to Carrie Farrington, nurse practitioner at the Student Health Center, an allergy is a reaction that occurs when the immune system recognizes a foreign or abnormal substance in the body, and then reacts to it.
Farrington says there aren’t many ways to prevent allergies, but that you can avoid exposures that could trigger a reaction. For example, if you are allergic to pollen, you might try to limit your time outdoors and keep windows shut.
But since avoiding allergens can be so difficult, most of the time the best you can do is to treat a reaction after it occurs, Farrington says. Recognizing symptoms early is important, according to Farrington, because if you recognize them early, you can treat them early as well.
As far as environmental or seasonal allergies, the most common symptoms are going to be sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, sometimes body rashes, or sore and itchy throats.
Farrington says that the most common allergens are seasonal, such as pollen, grasses, molt, dust and animal fur from pets.
It is not necessarily dangerous to do nothing about an allergy, according to Farrington, but it does put you more at risk for illnesses, because the extra mucus in your system is a good place for bacteria to grow.
Leaving allergies untreated can lead to sinus infections and respiratory illnesses, because it keeps your immune system more sensitive to allergens.
Allergies also affect students’ sleep, nutrition and often causes difficulty concentrating in class.
There is an option for people who want to be cured of their allergies.
“We offer the possibility to see an allergist specialist in that area, who usually exposes them to what they are allergic to in small doses over long periods of time and they get allergy injections on a regular basis. Then the body will actually build up a stronger immune system and eventually your body won’t react to the allergens anymore, but it takes a long time and it is a long process,’’ Farrington said.
Farrington says that this year is particularly bad on people with allergies, and that this has a lot to do with the extreme changes of the weather conditions and temperature lately. Also, the wind aggravates allergies more because it moves around dust and pollen.