Allergy and Asthma

SHS hopes to assist you in any way possible with the management of your allergy and asthma symptoms while you are an OSU student.

Many people suffer from allergies, especially seasonal allergies. The Willamette Valley, which includes Corvallis, is notorious for causing increased symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. Many people with asthma also suffer from allergies, which can trigger their asthma symptoms. However, asthma can occur without allergic symptoms, such as exercise-induced asthma. To meet your educational needs as efficiently and effectively as possible, this page has been divided into two main links:

What is the Allergy and Asthma Clinic?

The Allergy and Asthma Clinic provides primary treatment and education about allergy and asthma with the goal of optimizing control of your symptoms and, in so doing, improving your quality of life. If you need treatment for symptoms, medication refills, or a medical evaluation you should make an appointment with a clinician. The nurses in the department see patients who are referred by a clinician for pulmonary function testing, education, or information on available resources. Nurses also work with outside providers to give immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Why see us?

As college health care providers, we are not only able to provide allergy and asthma care, but we do so with the ultimate goal of keeping you fit and healthy so you can be academically successful. We can also refer you to other campus resources that can assist you with a variety of problems.

How do I make an appointment?

If you are experiencing severe asthma or allergy symptoms (difficulty breathing), seek medical attention immediately at Student Health Services if the clinic is open, or at an alternate clinic or Emergency Room. If symptoms are life threatening call 9-1-1.

Call the main Student Health Services number: 541-737-WELL (9355) to schedule an appointment with a clinician for allergies and/or asthma. If you have questions please call: 541-737-7565 to speak with an asthma/allergy nurse.

What should I bring with me?

Bring a list of all medications with you to your appointment. Also, bring any other relevant information you may have.

Allergies and Treatment

Desensitization Injections (Allergy Shots)

Administering antigens outside of a medical facility equipped to handle allergic reactions is unwise. We therefore advise against patients injecting themselves or having others do it at home. Allergy patients who are pregnant or taking beta adrenergic blocking medication will be referred back to their own allergist (or to a local allergist) for their injections.

The following is some important information and procedures of which you need to be aware before initiating allergy treatment at SHS. Please take a few minutes to review this page; the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse is pleased to answer any questions or concerns you might have about your allergies or allergy treatment at SHS.

Important Information About Allergy Injections

Students who require allergy injections may store their allergen solution at Student Health Services. A nurse will assist in following the injection schedule and will provide follow-up care. You may be able to receive an injection without an appointment if you are willing to wait for any students who may have scheduled appointments prior to your arrival. Scheduled appointments eliminate the inconvenience of such waits; ask the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse about scheduling appointments.

Serum ordered by an outside physician is stored at SHS for your convenience. The allergy nurse will insure that the vial is clearly labeled with the following information before storage: your name, contents, concentration, manufacturer and expiration date. Please supply the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse with a schedule of injections, dosage prescribed, and comments about any reactions you might have had.

If your vials have been mailed to us, please check with the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse to be sure it has arrived before you are due for an injection. All antigen left in the Allergy and Asthma Clinic will be discarded when it becomes outdated, or one year from the date of manufacture noted on the label.

During Appointments for Allergy Injections

It's important that you communicate the following information to the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse before receiving an injection so that proper dosage can be determined:

  • Signs or symptoms of illness, extreme fatigue or a flare up of allergy symptoms
  • Delayed reactions to the previous injection that occurred after leaving the clinic
  • Changes in amounts, frequency or types of medications

It is unsafe to receive allergy injections within a short period before or after donating blood or receiving certain immunizations. If you plan to donate blood or if you need an immunization, you may need to schedule your allergy injection at least 48 hours before or after either experience. Some immunizations can be given at the same time as allergy injections, including vaccinations for flu and tetanus.

Serious systemic reactions to antigen are rare but unpredictable. When they do occur, it is usually within 30 minutes of an injection. For your protection, we require that you remain at Student Health Services for 30 minutes following your injection. Students who do not comply with the full waiting period will be referred to an outside provider for allergy injections. Before leaving, allow the nurse to check the injection site for local reaction.

Initial visits are done for all desensitization patients during the first appointment of the school year. Health information is updated and consents are signed.

Between Allergy Injections

Strenuous activities should be avoided following an injection of antigen. Please avoid activities that increase the heart rate for at least two hours after you receive an injection: running, jogging, team sports, racket sports, skiing, skating, tennis, taking saunas, sunbathing or using a hot tub.

The source of your allergy symptoms (dust mites, pollens, animal dander, mold, etc.) should be avoided as much as possible during the 24 hour periods before and after your injection. It is advisable to have an antihistamine on hand. If you have none, please consult a clinician at SHS. There is no office visit fee for appointments with SHS clinicians.


A fee is assessed for each injection you receive. The Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse can tell you what the fee is currently.

Allergy and Asthma Clinic Hours

Allergy services are scheduled daily Monday through Friday during clinic hours until 4:00 p m.

Asthma and Treatment

Your health is the foundation of your ultimate success as a student at Oregon State University. As someone with asthma, your overall health depends on good control of your asthma symptoms. The goal of the Allergy and Asthma Clinic is to provide primary education to allergy and asthma patients to optimize control of symptoms. As you learn to control your asthma symptoms, you also improve your quality of life.

Management of Asthma in Adults and Children (PDF)

This document, though somewhat technical, should be understandable to the educated asthma patient. It outlines treatment and education recommendations for asthma symptom management at four stages of severity/intensity. Ask your provider if you have questions about these asthma guidelines.

Asthma Action Plan (PDF)

This Asthma Action Plan, provided by the American Lung Association, lists symptoms and treatments according to asthma severity. If you have asthma, ask your health care provider to complete an Asthma Action Plan for you.

Asthma Symptom Control

This brief quiz will assist you in knowing whether your asthma symptoms are being adequately controlled. If the quiz informs you that your symptoms are not adequately controlled on your current asthma treatment plan, please see your health care provider.

Asthma Symptom Control

Frequent or premature refills on asthma rescue inhalers (Albuteral, Proventil, Ventolin, Maxair), raise concern that your asthma is not under adequate control. If you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with your provider to have your asthma care plan re-evaluated.

  1. Have you experienced chest tightness or shortness of breath more than twice each week?
  2. Have you been awakened by these symptoms more than twice in the last month?
  3. Did the quick relief medication incompletely control the symptoms?
  4. Has your asthma kept you from doing anything you wanted to do in the last two weeks?
  5. Have you missed work or school because of your asthma in the last two months?
  6. Have you needed to go to an emergency room for your asthma in the last two months?