Students Struggle with Springtime Allergies


Senior Alex Walker deals with the sniffles.

Kristen Polan, Staff Writer

It’s that time again! Sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat, and itching: these are a few of the many side effects of the rising temperatures. Springtime allergies are here and many are suffering.

Spring is typically considered tree pollen season. Trees produce small pollen cells that can be carried by the spring breeze. The most common allergy-triggering trees include: oak, western red cedar, sycamore, maple, elm, birch, cypress, and walnut.

Similarly, mold, although considered a year-round allergy, can create many problems in the spring. Mold allergies increase in the spring because of the damp, rainy conditions followed by warmer weather. Mold releases seeds called spores that are carried by the wind. Research shows that an allergy to pollen or mold affects 30 to 60 million people in the United States.

Our school nurse, Ms. Andarakis, said about 25 students come in to her office in the spring for allergies. “There’s not much I can do unless I’m provided with medication with a doctor’s note and a parent signature,” said Ms. A when asked if she is allowed to give out any type of medication.

Interestingly, she also mentioned the importance of washing your hair at night. “Washing your hair at night time helps to take all the pollen that is carried in your hair out, and it will help you sleep better at night,” she said.

Senior Alex Walker has had springtime allergies since middle school. “It’s so annoying. I sneeze a lot and my eyes water because they’re so itchy. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night because my throat is killing me,” Alex said, frustrated. She added, “Plus, it’s probably annoying for other people because I sneeze all the time.”

Unfortunately, it’s not only the students struggling; it’s also the teachers. Spanish teacher Mrs. Lagattolla suffers from year-round allergies, but the springtime is one of the worst times. “My allergist tells me to close all the windows and limit my time outside, but that’s impossible. When the weather’s warm all I want to do is play with my girls and go on bike rides,” shared Mrs. Lag.

Majority of people use over-the-counter drugs to help get through these few months. Sophomore Rebecca Graney and Senior Alex Walker both agree that Claritin has proven relatively helpful for them. “Obviously my allergies are never going to go away, but Claritin helps decrease the symptoms,” shared Alex. If medication such as Claritin does not work well in clearing your nasal congestion, it’s important to ask your doctor about adding a nose spray, which seems to be very effective.

Mrs. Lagattolla has gone through a variety of medication, but only a few have proven successful. “I’ve tried Claritin, but I always feel tired and thirsty, and never 100% ‘Claritin Clear’. I have to use Nasacort nose spray and Pataday eye drops. The medication helps alleviate the symptoms, but it definitely does not cure them,” she said.

Ms. A emphasized the importance of avoiding the triggers to minimize time outside. “If you do have springtime allergies, air conditioning is a great alternative, because it provides heavy filtering and decreases the exposure of pollen while also staying cool with the increasing temperatures.”

All in all, you’re not the only one struggling with springtime allergies. It’s important to identify the allergy and make sure you take medication before walking out the door in the morning, so allergies do not ruin your day.