Features

Unseasonably warmer weather triggers dormant allergy symptoms to emerge

by CELINE PHU

Some may view the chirping of birds and the blooming of flowers as an indicator of spring’s arrival; for many others, however, these signs show the start of allergy season.

Depending on the region, the period of allergy season varies. In Los Angeles, most plants begin to release pollen into the air to reproduce during spring. However, due to the unnaturally warm climate, Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder and medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, concludes that the allergy season of 2015 will be the worst in recent years.

“I usually get [allergies] during the fall or spring,” said junior Maggie Huang. “I’m guessing it’s mostly from the pollen.”

According to pollen.com, an allergy is an indication of the body’s immune system overreacting to a foreign substance that is not actually harmful to one’s health, such as pollen or dust. This causes the body to release chemicals, similar to the ones released to fight off colds and viruses, which cause the symptoms associated with allergies. Some of the most common symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion and coughing.

“I usually get a stuffy or runny nose and if it [the pollen count] gets really bad, I get headaches,” said sophomore Kelly Lam.

According to webmd.com, 55 percent of the U.S. population tests positive to one or more allergens, while a child who has one parent with allergies has a 30 percent chance of developing an allergy.Although the tendency to develop allergies is hereditary, it is still possible for one to develop allergies even if none of his or her family members is allergic, according to kidshealth.org.

Although allergy symptoms can hinder participation in outside activities and sports, taking over-the-counter medication is a common method used to provide temporary relief.

“Claritin works for me. Whenever I have allergies, I get up and take Claritin because I know if I do not, I will probably not stop sneezing,” said senior Veyra Medina.

Despite the many obstacles that allergies create, those who have them are still able to continue their daily activities.

“It’s harder to be productive [with allergies], but it doesn’t stop me from doing anything,” said Huang, “One word I would use to describe my allergies is annoying because it makes it difficult to do a lot of things when I have them.”

“Spring is in the air” is a common expression used to indicate the transition of the seasons from winter to warmer weather, however, with spring also follows pollen in the air.

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SOURCE: 323 students in grades 9-12 were polled March 11.

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