Hay fever: pollen will fly earlier this year

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The pollen count started unusually early in 2014

The hay fever season started very early this year due to the mild weather. The beginning of the flowering of birch trees in particular will cause massive complaints for many people with pollen allergies. Since many sufferers are not prepared for the increased pollen count or are currently not taking hay fever medication, they have to struggle more and more with the typical hay fever symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, violent sneezing attacks, increased coughing and difficulty breathing.

Already in January, the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB) warned of the early onset of pollen flight and pointed out that "conspicuously many pollen allergy sufferers had increased complaints in November and December last year". Now the hay fever season has reached its first peak with the beginning of the birch pollen flight - around two weeks earlier than normal. Many hay fever patients react to the birch pollen and accordingly, many people are currently having to deal with allergic symptoms.

Threatening asthma with untreated hay fever The mild temperatures of the past few weeks caused the flowering period to start much earlier. While last year at the beginning of March winter in Germany still held snow and ice under control, temperatures of just under 20 degrees Celsius have already been reached this year. For people with allergies to pollen, spending time outdoors is becoming increasingly uncomfortable because the pollen pollution in the air has increased enormously. Although hay fever sufferers can take some relatively simple measures such as properly ventilating the apartment (at night and in wet weather) or installing pollen filters in the car to minimize contact with the pollen and thus alleviate their symptoms. But in case of doubt, only the appropriate hay fever medication helps in the short term. Pollen allergy sufferers should not hesitate to take it too long, since untreated hay fever can lead to asthma in the worst case scenario.

Possible preventive measures for pollen allergy sufferers Generally, allergy sufferers should keep contact with pollen as low as possible in everyday life. For this reason, for example, it is best to take off street clothes directly in the hallway and in no way take them into the bedroom, before going to bed the hair should be washed and regular vacuuming is recommended. Nasal douches can help clear the pollen of the mucous membranes and thus significantly reduce the allergic symptoms. In order to be better prepared for the stresses, a look at the pollen flight calendar is worthwhile. It shows that the pollen from alder, hazel, elm and willow is already in the air. The pollen count of poplar, maple, yew, birch, oak, ash and hornbeam has only just begun. A significant increase in the burden can be expected here in the coming weeks. (fp)

Photo credit: S. Hofschlaeger / pixelio.de

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