When fall allergies attack, health services can help

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By Sydney Williams, Contributor

Orange, yellow and red leaves gleam in the sun and create a scenic view across campus, until a brisk, fall breeze blows through and develops uncontrollable sneezing, watery eyes and a sore throat.
At least one out of every five students on campus suffers from allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. At this time in the semester, many students are experiencing fall allergies.
“Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and sensitivity to sunlight are all symptoms of fall allergies,” said Marcia Adler, UNO Health Services director.
Sufferers of fall allergies complain about these symptoms as well as problems with sleeping, being tired, having poor concentration, and decreased productivity at school or work. These symptoms are on high attack from early summer into mid-fall.
One of the main contributors of fall allergies is the pollination of ragweed, which is spread abundantly throughout the Midwest. This pollination season is at its peak from the beginning of summer until the first frost.
Some simple remedies can help reduce allergy symptoms fast. One of the top ways to keep your allergies under control is to drink cold water. Rehydration is one of the best ways to eliminate toxins from your body.
During the fall season the pollen count is at its highest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Another way to keep allergies from attacking is to close all windows and turn on the air conditioner. This will help remove excess moisture that carries allergens in the air.  So don’t forget to close all of the windows before heading to class.
When cooking and showering, remember to turn on the exhaust fan, this is one more solution to keep allergens to a minimum. Even wearing sunglasses outside will reduce sensitivity to allergens.
When the at-home remedies just aren’t enough, UNO Health Services has the resources to help students get quick relief from annoying allergy symptoms.
“We offer over-the-counter medicine for those students that come in and say they need quick relief from their allergies, as well as allergy shots for students who are prone to allergies,” Adler said. “We will work backwards to find the best treatment for each student.”  
Office hours for Health Services are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments with a Health Services physician can be made at 402-554-2374 but walk-ins are always welcome.
“Two walk-in Urgent Care facilities are also available to the UNO community,” Adler said.
Rockbrook Urgent Care, located at 108th and Center offers hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Rockbrook’s physicians can provide allergy testing, order X-rays, put in stitches and help with treatment for illnesses.
Peony Park Hy-Vee on Cass Street has a nurse practitioner in the Pharmacy who can assist UNO students after Health Services is closed.
In the case of an on-campus allergy emergency, call Campus Security to receive transportation to Health Services. If the condition is potentially life threatening, Campus Security will call Omaha Fire and Rescue for transport. Campus Security can be reached at 402-554-2911 or on any campus phone at 4-2911.
For off-campus emergencies or when UNO Health Services is closed, the closest Emergency Room is Methodist Hospital at 8303 Dodge St. and Nebraska Medical Center at 42nd and Emilie streets.
“Allergies are a real issue for some students, especially this time of the year, “Adler said. “Students should take advantage of the resources that UNO Health Services offer.”

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