Pollen allergy and hay fever: hazel and alder are already blooming
The pollen count has started in some regions of Germany. The mild weather of the past few weeks is to blame for the early start. This is the beginning of suffering for people with hay fever. However, there are ways to relieve the discomfort.
Mild temperatures ensure early pollen count
In January, the temperatures in some regions of Germany were significantly milder than usual. Therefore, pollen is already in the air in some federal states. In allergy sufferers, these cause typical hay fever symptoms such as dripping nose, itchy eyes, shortness of breath or cough. Health experts point out ways to help manage symptoms.
Pollen count in West Germany
Hazel and alder are the heralds of the pollen season again this year. These pollen have been flying from the Rhineland via Westphalia to Saarland, as well as in parts of Hesse and Baden-Württemberg for days, as the "Pollen Flight Hazard Index" of the German Weather Service (DWD) shows.
It is no longer so unusual that the season starts in winter, because it has been shown for years that the pollen is flying earlier and earlier.
"In terms of global warming, the flowering period of early bloomers has shifted forward - especially with hazel," said Christina Endler, a meteorologist and pollen flight expert from the DWD, in a message from the dpa news agency.
Pollen season has extended
According to the expert, the first month of the month was “below average cold January”, which is not as cold as January usually. However, she is currently unable to draw any precise conclusions about how the 2017 pollen season will go.
In the long term, the pollen season has been prolonged by global warming in recent years. "However, it is not uncommon for hazel and alder pollen to be in the air in small quantities," said Endler.
Do not confuse signs of allergy with flu
The Foundation of the German Pollen Information Service (PID), which compiles the nationwide pollen flight forecast in the “Pollen Flight Hazard Index” with the DWD, points out that medical advice can help, if necessary, so that the signs of a pollen allergy are interpreted correctly and not mistaken for flu.
If the symptoms are not too severe, home remedies for hay fever, such as saline, can be helpful. Experts sometimes recommend medication for more severe symptoms.
Karl-Christian Bergmann, allergist at the Charité in Berlin and chairman of PID, explained according to dpa: “Antihistamines can help people suffering from hay fever. They prevent the spread of histamine in the body. ”According to the doctor, the messenger substance causes the nasal mucosa to swell and causes it to secrete more secretions.
Pollen escape on vacation
"Patients with a pollen allergy usually know at the latest in the second year of the complaint when the time has come at home when their pollen runny nose makes spending time outdoors a pain," writes PID on its website.
"It is a natural wish to go to a place that is as free of pollen as possible on vacation during the pollen season in question," it continues.
But only a few regions are really pollen-free: on the high seas all year round, in the high mountains like in the Alps there are pollen-free periods from the end of July.
“A vacation on the North or Baltic Sea coast can also be a relaxation for those affected, but you should always keep an eye on the wind direction. With Landwind, the freedom from complaints can quickly come to an end, ”says Bergmann.
As the PID writes, there is sometimes freedom from complaints in distant countries due to different botany and flowering times, but for longer stays "sensitization to new types of pollen cannot be ruled out, which is why pollen complaints can occur there if you visit again a year or two later". (ad)