Sneezing? Coughing? Feeling sick? With the seasons changing it might be your SPRING ALLERGIES!

What causes spring allergies?
• Pollen, pollen, pollen!
• Warmer temperatures allow buds and growths of new plants, putting spores in the air.

Symptoms of spring allergies:
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
• Sneezing
• Coughing
• Itchy eyes and throats
• Dark circles under the eyes

Airborne allergies can also trigger asthma. This is when your airways narrow making it difficult to breathe, which leads to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. But just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to suffer! WebMD gives some things to consider when tackling allergies:

1. Know your over the counter (otc) medicine!

With words like “topical nasal sprays,” “inhaled corticosteroids”, “antihistamines”, “oral antihistamines”, and “decongestants”, where do you start?

  • Let’s eliminate one: decongestants. Primarily, these should be used for colds lasting around 7 days.
  • If you have mild seasonal allergies, nasal sprays, inhalants and oral antihistamines can effectively manage your symptoms by reducing itchy and watering eyes, opening up your airways, and lessening post nasal drip.
  • If the medicine isn’t working, try switching brands or talking to your healthcare provider about other options!

2. Control allergies by controlling your environment

  • Check the weather. Most websites will put up a daily pollen count!
  • Clean your room! Spring is in the air, windows are being opened, and pollen and dust are settling in. With busy schedules it might be hard to find time to give your room a good cleaning, however, if you’re not breathing in pollen and dust all night, you might wake up feeling less stuffy!

3. Natural allergy remedies

  • To each their own when it comes to natural remedies, but if the previous methods don’t work, check with your doctor about using a neti pot. A neti pot naturally flushes out your nasal cavity by using gravity and a saline solution. I highly recommend giving it a try!
  • As always, keeping your fluids up will make you feel better! Aim for 8 8oz glasses of water a day!

So don’t miss class, work, or fun because you’re home suffering from allergies. Do something about it. If you still aren’t feeling better, you may want to go to your healthcare provider or an allergist, because there are prescription options too!

Written by Julia Kane, Peer Educator