Photo by MELLISA MULIA
by MELLISA MULIA
Loud fanfare and drums may signal the arrival of a football team, thundering applause and cheers may signal the appearance of a performer onstage, but when a melody of coughs, sneezes and sniffles fill the air, it signals the coming of the annual allergy season.
It is spring where rain showers and blossoming flowers bring pollen, empty tissue boxes and the search for remedies to stop the symptoms that emerge.
Some might turn to home remedies, facemasks, or even medications to relieve symptoms, but according to the article “Did researchers find a cure for allergies and asthma?” by Mary Jo Dilonardo on mnn.com, advancements in technology may allow such treatments to be substituted by what is called a biodegradable nanoparticle.
“The findings represent a novel, safe and effective long-term way to treat and potentially ‘cure’ patients with life-threatening respiratory and food allergies,” said senior author Stephen Miller, professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a press release. “This may eliminate the need for life-long use of medications to treat lung allergy.”
This treatment allows the immune system to dismiss allergens as harmless, which quells the usual body reaction to these antigens and may offer relief to those who experience year-round symptoms.
However, as the treatment is in its testing stages and with pollen currently affecting the air, about 40 million Americans are still suffering with either rashes, itchy eyes, runny nose, or breathing problems that range from mild to severe during the season, according to aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.
According to webmd.com, it is recommended that sufferers keep tract of the pollen count, wear masks to act as filters, be wary of windy days which can stir more pollen, and become more knowledgeable about the times that plants pollinate, which is from 5 to 9 a.m.
Help may come by going to the beach, where there is a low pollen count, keeping homes pollen-free, turning fans off as pollen will settle to the floor inside in about 4 minutes, or even taking the time to shower after a long day outside, according to “How to survive pollen season (without locking yourself inside the house),” by Melissa Breyer on mnn.com.
Allergy season may bring the emergence of heightened allergy symptoms and make sufferers slip on a facemask or avoid the outdoors between certain hours, but with the right treatment and knowledge, such symptoms may be reduced to the point that the melody of coughs, sneezes, and sniffles will fade—leaving yet another empty tissue box behind.