Hay fever – the pollen fly again!
The one joy, the other suffering: For most, the spring is connected with joyful spring feelings. For hay fever, on the other hand, the period of sneezing, nasal constriction, and reddened eyes begins. Triggers of hay fever attacks are pollen from trees, shrubs, grasses and cereals. They enter the body via the respiratory tract and trigger an allergic reaction in the case of hypersensitive people.
Pollen fly ever earlier
At mild temperatures, the first pollen flies already in winter – the season for pollen allergists begins with hazelnut and alder already between February and March. Experts are concerned about the trend that the pollen flight starts a bit earlier each year. The increasingly polluted breathing air, which makes us particularly busy in the summer, has also proven to contribute to the increasing number of hay fever sufferers.
Typical symptoms of hay fever
Not everyone affected reacts to any kind of allergy. This is why the symptoms occur at different times, depending on when the plant is blooming and dispersing its pollen. Some allergy sufferers are plagued by allergic snuff almost all year. First complaints are itchy and reddened eyes and a tingling sensation in the nose. Then the mucous membranes swell and there are tear flow, sneezing and stuffy nose. Here are the symptoms at a glance:
- Nasal swelling with very strong aqueous fluid formation
- Nasal congestion through the swollen mucous membrane
- Violent, frequent sneezing attacks, itching
- On the eye: redness, itching, burning, light sensitivity
- Tear flow, headache, fatigue, exhaustion, irritability
These are the rather harmless complaints of a pollen allergy. Affected people with severe allergic reactions or hay fever over a longer period may develop other symptoms such as a cough, dyspnoea, bronchial asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, migraine or hives. Allergy sufferers often also complain about sleep disturbances, concentration problems and depression.
Diagnosis Hay fever
The symptoms are so typical that suspicious diagnosis is usually fast. Indications that pollen causes allergic symptoms are the season when hay fever occurs:
- First, fly hazel and alder pollen, sometimes already in the winter. In April and May, it is mainly popular, willow, birch , oak and beech.
- Rye pollen and other cereal pollen, as well as most sweet grasses on meadows and pastures, begin to fly in late May to June.
- In July and August, the pollen of herbs such as nettle, wormwood and Wegerich are blown away by the wind. At about the same time the spores of the molds Alternaria and Cladosporium are also found in the air. They need very high humidity to form their spores. They are therefore actively active on cool and moist late summer summers.
For the diagnosis of pollen allergy, skin tests are carried out, in which poll eye extracts are scribed on the skin. Blood tests (RAST test) supplement the diagnosis.
A misfortune is unfortunately also rare in the allergies alone. Those who suffer from a pollen allergy often also react to certain foods allergically. One speaks of Kreuzallergien. Birkenpollenallergiker feels, for example, tingling in the fresh apple tingling and swelling in the mouth and throat. These pollen-associated food allergies are among the most common food allergies:
- Birch, alder, hazelnut: plum, apricot, cherry, peach, apple, pear, kiwi, lychee, avocado, hazelnut, almond, carrot, celery, tomatoes, potato, pepper, mustard, cumin, coriander
- Grass: cereal, soy, peanut, celery, potatoes, parsley, thyme
- Herbs, celery, fennel, carrots, aniseed, curry, cumin, coriander, parsley, dill, pepper, nutmeg and hazelnut
- Naturlatex: Maracuja, grapefruit, pineapple, bananas, Ficus Benjamin
Therapy of hay fever
A consistent treatment of pollen allergy is important because allergic asthma can develop from hay fever. The doctor will also advise you on the possible treatment options. It is therefore important to treat your pollen allergy consistently so that a hay fever does not become allergic asthma!
If you suspect an allergy or if severe ailments such as nettle ache or atembeschwerden occur, you should visit your doctor. He can advise you about treatment methods for hay fever, can make an allergy test and, if necessary, prescribe more potent antiallergic and anti-inflammatory tablets, nasal sprays or eye drops, for example with cortisone .
Medicines that alleviate the symptoms
The following medications can relieve the symptoms of hay fever:
- Calcium tablets and nasal spray or eye drops, for example, containing cromoglycic acid, are used for prevention and treatment.
- If the nasal mucous membranes are swollen, nasal drops can be used for a short time.
- In the case of reddened eyes, eye drops can help to prevent conjunctivitis.
- For severe, acute complaints, anti allergic tablets or drops – so-called antihistamines.
- There are also homoeopathic remedies for prevention and treatment.
- Do not neglect nose care: It is particularly important to keep the mucous membranes moist in the respiratory tract because they are a decisive protection against viruses and bacteria.
Causative therapy – hyposensitization
The only therapy that tries to completely eliminate the allergy is the hyposensitization (so-called “allergy vaccination”). In this process, the allergen is injected into a slowly increasing dosage in order to make it desensitize, ie render it insensitive to the allergen. The immune system usually reacts with a change so that allergens that have previously triggered an infecting immune response are tolerated again.
By the way: Many siblings reduce the risk that the children are suffering from hay fever. According to experts, this is due to the fact that in the full children’s room it is mostly unhygienic. Through the constant exchange of germs and allergens, the child’s immune system is trained and reversed promotes too much hygiene the occurrence of allergies.