Campus / News / September 29, 2010

Students plagued by pollen

“Achoo!” It’s not uncommon in the fall at Knox to hear choruses of sneezes and sniffles emanating from classrooms. According to many students, allergies at Knox are among the worst they have ever experienced.

“Some days I wake up and I can barely breathe,” said junior Sam Lewis. “In Greek mythology, there was a village that Perseus saved that lived happily, except that once a year they had to sacrifice a woman to this sea monster. That’s what my allergies are like. “

Lewis is not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of Americans suffer from yearly allergies. Galesburg is particularly unfortunate in that it is situated right in the middle of all the major pollen counts. According to, the most significant allergens of fall in Knox County include ragweed, mold and grasses—all adding to significantly high pollen counts.

Those who are just starting their first year at Knox have definitely noticed. According to freshman Maddy Thornton, allergies at Knox are much worse compared to those at home, “because of the air and lack of air conditioning—I’m actually on medicine right now because of them.”

There appears to be no end in sight. According to the National Institute of Health, seasonal allergies are on the rise. Although not completely certain of the cause, scientists think this may be due to a rise in air pollution and decreased amounts of physical activity.

Some lucky students, however, have experienced no allergy symptoms whatsoever.

“I’m not affected by seasonal allergies,” said junior Ben Greuter. “Almost everyone I know is, though.”

Katy Sutcliffe

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