Signs of spring are now visible at Leesville Road High School. Now that the trees have grown green once again, pollen has started plaguing LRHS students in the yearly “allergy season”.
Allergy season starts soon after spring returns and ends approximately three to four weeks later. In this span of time, trees will release trillions upon trillions of pollen particles that will grow to dominate the environment.
“I am not ready for the pollen,” said Sam Sarakbi, sophomore. “It is just one of those things that just makes life worse. I mean, it’s like a virus in the sense that it gets everywhere.”
Pollen covers virtually everything it comes in contact with. The cars in the parking lot are an excellent example. When students return to their cars after school, they will usually observe a thick, yellowish coat of powder instead of the external paint job.
“My dad owns a black Chevy that turns yellow because of pollen in the spring,” said Sarakbi. “We are forced to clean it every week because it just gets to the point where it is disgusting.”
This pollen paint becomes a mess when it washes off, though. The resulting residue is a golden liquid that will easily ruin a pair of shoes and is often unwanted in the streets or around the school.
“Whenever it rains during allergy season, I have to run through all of the pollen water in the Leesville area,” said Justin Barnes, senior. “I had to take two showers just to rid myself of that junk.”
As of now, the pollen level in Leesville is low. However, in recent years, the pollen count has proven to grow severe at some point in the allergy season.
“Last year’s pollen count was probably the worst I think I’ve ever seen,” said Sarakbi.
When the pollen count is high, the pollen in the air starts to attach to the hairs on the inside of the nose. This tends to cause sneezing, congestion and difficulty breathing.
“Along with those symptoms, I have had cramps from lack of breathing,” said Barnes. “The pollen makes it extremely difficult to breathe.”
The severeness of these allergy symptoms usually vary from student to student.
This year, forecasters are expecting extremely high levels of pollen and allergies in Raleigh. Leesville especially will experience high levels of pollen due to the location of William B. Umstead state park across Glenwood Avenue.
Pollen.com believes the birch, maple and juniper trees are to blame for the high levels of pollen in the area.
“When you compare Leesville to other areas, you will be able to see that we have the perfect weather and number of trees for high levels of pollen,” said Taylor Harrison, environmental science student and senior.
In order to prevent the general symptoms, students should visit a doctor that would be able to give a professional opinion. The doctor may suggest popular techniques such as nasal sprays, allergy shots or decongestants.
Symptoms of allergies can simply be prevented by avoiding pollen, as well. Students could bypass pollen by walking through the gymnasium hallways instead of cutting through the courtyard to the east building.
After allergy season ends, the pollen count will decrease significantly. All of the pollen will have settled and new life may grow from the distributed pollen.
“Although allergy season sucks for a lot of people, it will all be worth it once summer comes around when we [students] will be able to enjoy nature,” said Barnes.