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allergySpring is a great time to get outside and explore the city, but it sometimes comes at a price if you have allergies. Knoxville consistently ranks within the top five cities in the nation for allergy problems.

Spencer D. Gregg, medical director of the Student Health Center, has recommendations for students battling allergies this spring.

1. Monitor the environment: Close the windows of your car and home and use air conditioners to filter the air during periods of high pollen and mold counts.

After coming inside from being outdoors, you should wash your face and hands, change your clothes, or even shower.

Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays or rinses can be used to wash away allergens from your nose.

If you want to check pollen and mold counts to see when allergy problems are most likely to occur, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s website monitors pollen and mold spore counts.

2. Take other preventive measures: Antihistamines are important in the prevention of most allergy symptoms. There are many antihistamines available over the counter for you to use when suffering from allergies. Decongestants also may help in reducing the swelling in nasal passages.

For those who are still unable to get relief, referral to an allergist for consideration of allergy injections may be necessary.

Even allergy sufferers can enjoy this time of year, but preparation is key. Think ahead and take action so you can enjoy our beautiful campus and the city.

If you have questions about allergies or other health-related issues, contact the Student Health Center at 865-974-3135 or visit