Harsh winter leads to severe allergies

By Nicholas Guldin
April 17, 2010

Sore throat, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and a headache are typical symptoms to what is known as allergies. Many people get allergies, while others are lucky enough not to have to deal with its misery. Unforunately, those millions of unlucky people may be having a tougher time this year than ever before.

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, patients have been going to their local physicians since almost three weeks ago, which is much earlier than in past years. Most physicians have calculated that at least 10 patients a day have been coming into their offices for medical attention dealing with allergies.

What is to blame for this terrible allergy season? Weatherchannel.com says that the extended cold winter in the month of March didn’t allow the trees to pollinate when they usually do. Also the unbelievable amount of rain and cold this winter promoted tree growth, which then increased the amount of pollen in the air.

Within the first few days of April, temperatures skyrocketed into the ‘90s. This gave the oak, maple, flowering pine and sweet gum trees a chance to produce and spread large amounts of pollen everywhere. Pollen counts are said to have doubled in the second week of April.

“I just want to go out and enjoy the sunshine. Everytime I try and do that though, I find myself blowing my nose for hours and from that comes an insane headache. You‘ve got to love allergy season,” Jessica Baluch, sophomore education major, said.

For all those innocent people out there fighting allergies, there is more bad news. Since the tree pollination was delayed a month or so due to the extended cold weather, the high pollen counts will stick around later than usual too.

Fighting off allergies may be easier then you thought. Over-the-counter medications, along with simple preventative measures, should be enough to keep you going strong through this allergy season. Simple things like wearing sunglasses outside, showering and closing all car and home windows to avoid pollen are good tactics to prevent any problems.

According to pollen.com, the National Allergy Forecast is not looking good for southeast Pennsylvania, which looks to have high levels of pollen for a good portion of the season.

The words “pollen” and “allergy” are among the top ten trending topics on twitter in several U.S. cities. Those fed up with allergies are finding a way to voice their opinion about it and nothing is better than tweeting.

To all those out there with allergies, prepare for one of the worst seasons in 10 years. And if necessary, tweet your anger to the many other allergy stricken people.

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Nicholas Guldin

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