Particularly strong birch pollen flight expected

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The hay fever season has started

With the milder spring weather, the pollen pollution in the air increases. Allergy sufferers have to be prepared for an "abruptly increasing pollen count", according to a recent message from the largest German health insurance company, Barmer GEK.

While most Germans are happy about the current rise in temperatures, many allergy sufferers cannot share this joy. Because in the course of the relatively mild spring weather, the pollen count begins again. While the winter months were still a real recovery for allergy sufferers, the time of suffering has started again. Since the experts expect a particularly strong flight of birch pollen, the allergy season could be a special test for many hay fever patients this year.

Alder and hazel pollen already in the air In a recent announcement, the Barmer GEK warned against a "leaping pollen count" in view of the mild weather conditions. In the course of the higher temperatures, the plant bloom started and the first pollen was already in the air. As can be seen in the pollen flight calendars on various online information portals (pollen information service of the Institute for Meteorology at the Free University of Berlin and the weather service MeteoGroup; pollen flight information from the German Weather Service), there is already an increased load of pollen from the so-called early bloomers or spring bloomers like alder and hazel before. However, in most regions of Germany only in weak to moderate concentration. Only a few regions on the Upper Rhine and in the Moselle Valley, where the temperatures are particularly mild, are already partially experiencing high levels of alder pollen, according to the information provided by the German Weather Service (DWD).

Particularly strong birch pollen flight a stress test for allergy sufferers This year, the burden of birch pollen is particularly critical, since the birches release significantly more pollen every second year, according to the European Foundation for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF). The increased pollen production of birch trees, known as the "mast year", is part of their survival strategy. But for hay fever patients, who are often particularly sensitive to birch pollen, the fattening years are a considerable test of stress. In the coming months (probably until May), those affected can expect unusually severe allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, conjunctivitis and other respiratory complications. For some, spending time outdoors becomes such a burden that they would prefer not to leave their home in the high pollen season. Chronic tiredness and difficulty concentrating are often an additional problem, which affects hay fever patients during pollen flight. Gastrointestinal complaints and a significantly increased risk of asthma can also be the result of hay fever. Experts estimate that around a quarter of Germans experience hay fever symptoms, mainly triggered by the messenger substance histamine, which is released when the mucous membranes come into contact with the pollen.

Protection against hay fever symptoms In order to protect yourself from the symptoms of hay fever, those affected should make sure that they come into contact with the pollen as little as possible. The observance of a few simple basic rules can already have clear positive effects. This is the best way to store street clothing in the entrance area, since the pollen clings to it. Under no circumstances should the clothes be kept in the bedroom, as the pollen can also become a burden at night. Allergists recommend changing clothes and putting on a pollen-free wardrobe when returning home. Hay fever patients should also wash their hair before going to bed. The ventilation of the apartment should also be considered carefully. The experts advise not to open the windows during the day in dry weather, but instead to provide fresh air in the apartment during the night or after a rain shower. However, the ideal time for ventilation between city and country varies considerably. Because in the countryside, the pollen pollution in the air is highest between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., while in the city the strongest pollen count is reached between 6 p.m. and midnight. The experts in the countryside recommend ventilating in the evening between 7 p.m. and midnight, in the city, however, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Medications can avoid the allergic reaction To protect against the pollen, so-called pollen filters in the car can also help, which can significantly alleviate your symptoms, especially for allergy sufferers who travel a lot with the vehicle. Such filters are already integrated in many cars with air conditioning. Furthermore, pollen filters in the vacuum cleaner can mean a noticeable relief for allergy sufferers. It is best to avoid sporting activities outdoors during the high pollen season. If the stress for the hay fever patients is too great, conventional medicine relies on so-called antihistamines, with which the allergic reactions are to be avoided. However, the preparations often show unpleasant side effects. A cure of hay fever is not possible in this way. This is different, for example, in the case of so-called hyposensitization, in which, in simplified terms, the patient is repeatedly brought into contact with the allergens over a longer period of time in order to permanently avoid a reaction of the immune system.

Naturopathy: Treating the causes of hay fever The naturopathic treatment of hay fever also provides for the causes of the disease to be remedied, instead of merely focusing on symptom relief. In the past, for example, clear treatment successes have already been achieved with relaxation procedures, magnetic field / bioresonance procedures, autologous blood therapy, herbal therapies, acupuncture and homeopathy. If symptoms of hay fever cannot be eliminated as part of the naturopathic treatment, a visit to the doctor should be provided in any case, since an untreated pollen allergy can result in asthma and other bronchial diseases. (fp)

Read on:
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