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Wit & Banter: Dealing with allergies a harsh reality of spring

The arrival of spring promises warmer temperatures, sunnier skies, blooming flowers … and high pollen counts. We just barely escaped winter’s cold and flu season only to be slapped in the face with the woes of allergy season almost immediately after.

Based on my very unscientific observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that many students here at Ohio University are allergy sufferers. The relentless sniffling, coughing, sneezing and nose blowing in classes were my first indications. During any other season, these symptoms may be linked to a simple common cold. Then I stepped outside and witnessed the angry glares some people throw at the landscaping service as they innocently mow the grass. I hope they know it’s nothing personal…

As an allergy sufferer myself, there’s nothing worse than abnormally high pollen counts on a beautiful day. And on most beautiful days, the average person prefers to mow his or her lawn, and suddenly we find ourselves trapped in a bubble of evil allergens.

I’ve grown accustomed to waking up and rolling over to pop an allergy pill to start my day. I’ve even had to resort to nasal spray on occasion, and we all know how appealing the idea of spraying something up your nose is. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

Needless to say, there are always those days in which allergy medications just don’t seem to cut it. It’s hard to focus on a lecture when you can only breathe out of your left nostril, your throat feels swollen and your head feels like it’s the size of a blimp floating five feet above your body.

And don’t even get me started about those watery eyes… I’m not crying, I swear! I’m just allergic to economics.

My red, sore nose is also evidence of my suffering, and it unites me with other cranky sufferers, too. If I see someone sneeze at the far end of the sidewalk, I know that there is someone mowing a lawn somewhere nearby and take precautionary avoidance procedures. A red nose is a red flag.

Although seasonal allergies won’t kill us, sometimes it seems like they may, if only indirectly. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had near death experiences while sneezing my way through the day!

Driving on a sunny day with a high pollen count is just asking for trouble. Suddenly struck by a sneezing fit, we can only hope that the mere seconds our eyes close while we sneeze isn’t enough time for disaster to strike.

On foot, sneezing while walking is just as much of a hazard. If you feel a sneeze creeping up, don’t attempt to cross the street! Bikers, vehicles and other pedestrians can come out of nowhere.

And even if you’re just innocently walking along the sidewalk, no near hazards in sight, stopping for a millisecond to sneeze will inevitably result in a rear-end collision, and the person who runs into you usually isn’t too thrilled about it. Trust me, I know.

This allergy season, do your best to muddle through the invisible curtain of pollen and allergens. Know that you are not alone in your suffering, and that I’m seriously considering forming a support group in the near future. Hello, my name is Tanya and I have seasonal allergies…

Tanya Parker is a junior studying broadcast journalism and a columnist for The Post. Join her support group at

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