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Managing Seasonal Allergies

Knoxville is continually rated as one of the top ten allergy capitals in the United States. The Great Smokey Mountain National Park is in our backyard and is home to over 1,500 flowering plant species. If you typically experience environmental allergies, the pollen counts in the Knoxville area may impact you. Students who have never experienced allergies before may develop allergies in our region.

Discerning between common environmental allergies and mold-related concerns cannot be diagnosed without additional testing from your health provider.

If you experience sensitivity, as with all health concerns, please seek the assistance of our Student Health Services and/or your physician. Below are also some suggestions to help cope during the high pollen seasons in this area.

  • If medication has been prescribed to reduce your sensitivity, follow the instructions of your doctor and/or medical personnel.
  • Track the pollen count at and on the days that the count is “high” try to stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Keep windows and doors closed to reduce the number of allergens entering your living space.
  • Vacuum and dust regularly to reduce the number of allergens that may have hitchhiked into your space on you or your roommate’s shoes or clothes. If you find you are extremely sensitive, you may want to invest in a HEPA Filter vacuum to capture as many allergens as possible.
  • Avoid tossing your book bag or the clothes worn outside on your bed to prevent spreading allergens to your sleeping area.
  • Consider showering and washing your hair before going to bed to also avoid introducing allergens to your bed linens.
  • If all efforts above fail and you remain highly sensitive to allergens, you may consider investing in an air purifier for your area to remove as many allergens as possible from the air.
  • If purchasing an air purifier, beware of ozone generators and their claims of being safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollution in occupied spaces. People vary widely in their susceptibility to ozone. Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone.