Fighting Allergies

By: Benji Linkerhof

Every year when spring comes around, it’s a beautiful sight when all of the plants and trees start growing again. For some people, the trees and flowers are part of what makes spring their favorite season, but for others, it’s a miserable experience. This time of year, allergies are a big problem for a lot of people who basically have to drown themselves in medicine to feel better. The suffering they go through every year can cause anything from a stuffy nose to a scratchy throat, and makes those fighting allergies wish that they could stay inside and sleep all day. The Squire interviewed our Biology and Anatomy teacher, Mrs. Swanson, to learn more about the cause and treatment of allergies.

The Squire: What causes allergies?
Mrs. Swanson: Allergies are caused by the body being hypervigilant to foreign substances such as dust, dander, pollen etc. Most cells deal with it all in stride, but in many people, the immune cells think these allergens are a major attack and try to protect the body, causing the symptoms of allergies.
TS: What are the most common allergies in spring?
MS: Pollen!…and mold, of course.
TS: How do you stay healthy?
MS: I exercise and try to get enough sleep.
TS: Are there other ways than medicine to help allergies?
MS: You could stay indoors and miss the beautiful spring, which is a terribly sad thought. I think some people close windows at night and run the air conditioner or air purification system to take allergens out of the air.
TS: What’s your advice to students for treating allergies?
MS: I would take allergy meds instead of being isolated from nature.

Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases, and, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an allergy occurs when the body’s immune system interacts to a certain substance and overreacts to it. The symptoms for an allergy are pretty noticeable. For example, you will experience watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, a rash, or hives. Other serious symptoms may occur like trouble breathing and swelling in your mouth or throat, which may be life threatening. Treating an allergic reaction is all based on your medical history and how severe the reaction is. The best way to avoid all of this trouble is to know your allergens and avoid them as much and cautiously as you can. If you are struggling to avoid allergens, see your primary care physician to find out more about medical treatments available to combat your symptoms.

To learn more about allergies, check out the link below:
http://www.aafa.org/page/allergies.aspx?gclid=CNXM4rekx9MCFYKEswodJYMPlA

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