Every year when the daffodils start to bloom it signifies the beginning of spring time, along with the start of allergy season for many students.
According to Judy Lyle, associate director of Health Services, allergy season can begin as early as February and can last up until May, and many Murray State students are surprised to learn they are suffering from allergies.
“Most students think they have a cold when really it is allergies,” Lyle said. “These symptoms will drag on before students realize what it is because they might be from other parts of the country and are being exposed to things they never have before.”
In some severe cases, allergies may even cause rashes, hives, lower blood pressure and difficulty breathing which can lead to asthma attacks.
Students who are trying to avoid the symptoms of drowsiness which can come from such antihistamines have options such as Zyrtec, Allergra or Claritin.
Murray State Health Services is open to students, faculty and staff from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and are closed Wednesday afternoons.
She said those who still experience symptoms such as wheezing and chest congestion may need something as strong as a steroid shot to get relief from their allergies and need to seek professional medical treatments.
Shelby Pryor, senior from Metropolis Ill., said she has tried almost everything to rid herself allergy symptoms caused from the pollen.
“I feel like I have tried all the options out there,” Pryor said. “Some of the medications will work but will cause drowsiness, while others seem to have little effect and don’t really seem to do anything.”
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five Americans suffers from some type of allergy, which is more than 60 million people.
It also states that allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. among age groups.
Although there is currently no cure for allergies, symptoms can be managed by doing simple tasks such as washing hands regularly.
Lyle said the best ways for students to avoid the effects of allergy season is to drink plenty of fluids, wash their face frequently to remove pollen, wash hair more often and to keep hands away from the face.
Said Lyle: “There are options out there and are available for students, they just need to do all that they can to try and prevent the symptoms from becoming a serious problem.”
Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff writer.