It is allergy season again here in Concord, Massachusetts! Despite a variety of common allergens in the area, there are a number of steps that can mitigate reactions and reduce the severity of symptoms. An allergic reaction is the body’s overblown response to the external environment. It is a mechanism that is not yet fully explained by science, but it is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some allergies, like bee stings, can have catastrophic effects like anaphylaxis. Seasonal allergies, however, are annoying, but much less severe. Allergy season in Massachusetts usually lasts from March to June and is mainly caused by tree pollens, especially from oak. Other allergens include ash, aspen, hickory, maple trees, mulberry, and willow. Usually allergy symptoms are the worst when the wind is blowing because the pollen is in motion and visible in the air. However, after a rainstorm, the pollen particles weigh down and the allergy symptoms tend to dampen a bit.
Going to the Health Center is a great course of action if allergy symptoms begin to develop. There are a variety of over-the-counter medications used usually for situations like this including Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra, which a nurse would have on hand. Another good tip is to shower before going to bed, since that could eliminate the possibility of bringing allergens to bed and reduce the possibility of being bothered by them while asleep.
“Allergies really suck. They just come out of nowhere and my eyes become stuffy and red. It takes a while for all of the medications to act. It’s just never fun, and ruins some sports,” commented Bobby Skrivanek ’24, a Concord Academy student who has seasonal allergies.
Allergy season can definitely be annoying. Nonetheless, with enough preparation beforehand and medical help when needed, symptoms can be mitigated to reduce their effect on our daily lives.