Students Suffer Seasonal Allergies Worse Than Ever Before


Peter Philpott

During springtime, many students in the Creek community have begun to feel the effects of seasonal allergies again. Dandelions, which grow and spread quickly and release seeds and pollen in large amounts, are main causes of hay fever and allergic conjunctivitis.

Peter Philpott, Assistant News Editor

As Spring rolls around, hay fever and seasonal allergies come along with, affecting many students in Creek’s community. But studies show that seasonal allergies are getting worse every year, and some Creek students agree.

“Usually I just get congested when the seasons change around the beginning of spring and fall, and it goes away in about a week or so,” sophomore Addie McWilliams said. “But I actually got sick during spring break and I had some insane headaches.”

A Columbia University study scientifically showed that seasonal allergies are indeed getting worse. Every new pollen season since 1990 has been exponentially worse in duration and intensity. 

The study reported that since 1990, the spring pollen season has lasted 3 weeks longer, and in North America, 20 percent more pollen is released from flowers, trees, and grasses.

According to the New York Times, this spike in pollen output can be attributed to climate change and higher carbon dioxide emissions. Plant growth is improved in urban and suburban areas, causing more pollen to float in the air and worse seasonal allergies for those affected by them.

“I get a runny nose, super itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and sometimes a cough. The itchy eyes have totally gotten worse,” senior Rachel Novak said. “It happens a lot close to school since there are so many allergens, and it’s gotten a lot worse as I’ve gotten older.”

McWilliams recalled heavy symptoms of allergies during spring break, symptoms that were difficult to shake off. “I couldn’t breathe out of my nose and my ears were clogged,” McWilliams said. “It felt like I was on an airplane. But I think that was the worst it’s been.”

Senior Jamie Chaffin said it reminded her of an ongoing illness, except it lasts for weeks to months. “It’s like having a cold for all of spring,” Chaffin said. “Dry or sore throat in the morning, sneezing all day, watery eyes. It’s awful, but only this time of the year.”