ALLERGIES I wondered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o'er dales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd-a host of golden daffodils. William Wordsworth I hope he was taking an antihistamine. If he were not, he would develop signs and symptoms of allergies. These include, but are not limited to a sore throat; red, itchy, watery eyes; nasal congestion and drainage; coughing and sneezing. There are many remedies, from grandma's kitchen to the allergy research center. The allergy season is usually from late February to mid-May. Grass is the biggest offender during the latter part of the season. Pollens from trees and plants are released each year during early spring. There are cells floating around in your body and when the allergen is inhaled, it attaches itself to a specific cell. Then, it produces histamines (which stimulates gastric secretion and dilates blood vessels.) Your body reacts to this invasion with the signs of allergies. There are many over-the-counter medications to help reduce the symptoms. Benadryl, Tavist and Cholortrimeton are called antihistamines, which reduce the symptoms of allergies. Antihistamines make it difficult for the histamines to be released in the bloodstream. However, there is a drawback to this, and that is it will produce drowsiness. Prescription medication can be given to combat symptoms also. Allegra, is the newest of these medications. Claritin and Hismanal are non-sedating. There is, by prescription, a nasal spray that can be given to reduce sneezing. Of course, the last resort is by injection. A tiny amount of the same allergen that you are allergic to is injected under your skin. This, hopefully, will slowly desensitize you. The combination of these drugs should fit into many lifestyles. Briggite Mars, a well-known herbalist states, I generally view allergies as an indication of a weakened immune system. She also believes that stress is a major factor and should be reduced. This, in turn, will boost your immune system. A diet rich in beta-carotene, lamb, and even violets can improve the sufferer's allergic response. Every year around the same time, Michelle Robertson, who worked for a doctor as a medical assistant thought she had developed a cold and would then miss work. She would go in with the red eyes, nasal congestion, and cough. It was really her allergy. There are many kinds of pollen from trees, plants, weeds, flowers, mold, and ragweed being the worsts of all. Pollen, which looks like a sphere with spikes can travel hundreds of miles away. It has been found as far as Antarctica. There is no getting away from it. However, there is a meter that reads the pollen count. It has been read from zero to as high as four hundred in mid-September. In comparing the articles, the treatments were the same, with the Cooper article, More treatments available for those with hay fever, allergies. The Wood article, Ragweed hits hard at pollen suffers, gives just over-the-counter medications. It also talks on avoidance being the best policy of allergies. Cooper, talks more about diet and homeopathic remedies. There is a difference on the allergy season between the articles. The first being the February to March season. Wood made a statement of the pollen count meter reading as a high as 400 in mid-September. This could be due to the meter's geographic location. Overall, the Cooper article was much more informative. It had a pleasant even flow to it starting with the poetry, what allergies are, the treatment, and the diet. It had high points that helped keep the article in perspective that the Wood's did not. REFERENCECooper, Cynthia. More treatments available for those with hay fever, allergies. Knight- Ridder/Tribune News Service 16 May 1997, p516k8337Wood, R. Anthony. Ragweed hits hard at pollen suffers. Knight-ridder/Tribune News Service 29 Aug. 1997, p829k4377