Hay fever: tips for allergy sufferers

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Pollen count starts earlier than usual this year

The main season of the pollen year 2014 is just around the corner and for allergy sufferers the time of the itchy nose and watery eyes is again. More and more people are affected by this, according to the Robert Koch Institute, 16.5% of women and 13% of men in Germany are now fighting against the pollen of flowers, grasses, trees or herbs. As a result of the mild winter, experts are expecting a particularly high burden this year, and the pollen count is forecast to start much earlier this year. But this does not automatically mean more complaints - instead, with the help of a few tips, those affected can do something themselves to make the pollen time more bearable.

A quarter of the population between the ages of 30 and 39 suffer from hay fever. According to the German Pollen Information Service Foundation, they are currently flying across Germany
the pollen of the alder, from mid-March the birch is added, first in the south and about a week later in the north of the country. In addition, from mid-April there are pollen from grasses, from mid-July that of mugwort and from the end of July that of ambrosia - also mostly earlier in the southern federal states than in the northern ones. Every year, more people suffer from pollen pollution, more than a quarter of the population between the ages of 30 and 39 is now struggling with hay fever, according to a recent study by the Robert Koch Institute. This can show up in very different forms, some with a slight itching of the nose and red eyes, but in many cases there is also severe itching, violent, runny nose (allergic rhinitis), a permanently blocked nose and frequent sneezing.

Fast action in the case of pollen allergy is important. While those affected cannot stop the pollen flight, the extent of the symptoms can be influenced to a certain extent. With this form of allergy, it is particularly important to act quickly, since anti-allergic medication should be taken at the first sign, as the president of the German Association of Otolaryngologists Dirk Heinrich advises the news agency "dpa". Medicines from the previous year could also continue to be used - but of course only if the expiry date on the packaging has been carefully checked.

When classic symptoms of hay fever first appear, see an ENT doctor directly. Experts who experience classic symptoms such as watery eyes or a constantly itchy nose for the first time this year should, according to the experts, consult an ear, nose and throat doctor or Consult an allergist to clarify the cause of the symptoms. Here, the nasal mucous membranes are examined to find out whether it is actually a hay fever, and the so-called "prick test" is usually used to find out whether or which allergies exist and how severe they are.

Hyposensitization against hay fever can lead to freedom from symptoms after three to four years. According to Dirk Heinrich, so-called "hyposensitization" could still be worthwhile for some of those affected this year. In this case, an allergen extract is traditionally injected into the upper arm over a period of about three years, which is gradually increased in the dose at the beginning, so that the immune system slowly gets used and the allergic reactions gradually subside. Especially those who are allergic to medium and late bloomers such as grasses, mugwort or ragweed can therefore still start with specific immunotherapy and thus have defeated the allergy or have achieved a significant relief from the symptoms in about three to four years. In addition, in many cases the symptoms would decrease by 30 to 40 percent in the first year, the doctor continued to tell the dpa.

Washing hair in the evening during the pollen season In addition, hay fever patients can do a lot themselves to get rid of the pollen: This includes washing the evening hair every day during the season, so that the pollen does not get stuck in the bedding and from there can get into the eyes and respiratory tract. In order to keep the bedroom as pollen-free as possible, clothes should not be removed in this room in the evening.

Natural help for pollen allergy through autologous blood therapy Another option for treating hay fever naturally is the so-called "autologous blood therapy". This is a classic alternative medical stimulus therapy, through which the immune system is to be “reprogrammed”, so to speak, by causing the body to react to certain stimuli supplied and thereby activate its self-healing powers. In the case of autologous blood therapy, this stimulus consists of a small amount of your own blood, which is first taken from the person concerned and then injected again. The aim is for the organism to recognize its own blood as "foreign", to break it down and thereby activate the immune system. (No)

Image: Christine Braune / pixelio.de

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