Cold winter ideal for pollen allergy

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Cold winter ideal for pollen allergy

Pollen allergy sufferers are currently benefiting from the crisp winter. The relatively long and cold winter also has its good sides for hay fever patients. The pollen bloom has been a long time coming. "The crisp winter was ideal for hay fever patients," the allergist Claus Kroegel from Jena University Hospital told the "Märkische Allgemeine". The pollen flight calendar this year is so far about two to three weeks behind the schedule, "but now the pollen is already flying again" and it goes quickly, said Kroegel. According to the expert, between 15 and 20 percent of Germans in Germany suffer from hay fever.

Blessings for allergy sufferers - the pollen calendar is late
In many hay fever and asthma patients, alder and hazel bush blooms usually cause the first allergic symptoms of the season at this time of year. This had "everything shifted a bit backwards because of the relatively long cold period, but now things are moving very quickly," explains Claus Kroegel. The hazel blossom actually starts around Christmas, but this year the long, cold winter has led to a postponement of two to three weeks, according to the head of the Pneumology, Allergology and Immunology department at the Jena University Hospital. The alder blossom also started this year with a significant delay, which should be an extremely pleasant side effect of the cold and snowfall for hay fever patients. But the pollen allergy sufferers will face the full load in the coming weeks. In addition to hazel and alder blooms, according to the pollen calendar, elm, willow, poplar, ash and birch blooms are due by mid-March. According to the allergist Kroegel, the birch blossom is particularly problematic for pollen allergy sufferers and this "is still to come".

Lifestyle-related increase in allergic diseases The increase in allergic diseases that has been observed since the 1980s and 1990s is largely attributed to the specialist at the Jena University Hospital due to the lifestyle in modern industrial societies. "We no longer train our immune system, shield our children from pathogens and eat foods full of preservatives that change the natural intestinal flora," said Kroegel. In addition, the ever better thermal insulation in the apartments and houses brings with it a higher concentration of allergy-causing substances in the rooms - because "in the past there was draft in the houses, today everything is sealed," explains the doctor. Allergies are generally triggered by a malfunction of the immune system, which reacts to actually harmless substances with a defense reaction. According to the expert, the cornerstone for most allergies is probably laid in a very early phase of life (in the first year of life).

Hay fever symptoms Affected people recognize a pollen allergy by the typical symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching or conjunctivitis. Partly due to the increased secretion formation, the sinuses are also affected by constipation and inflammation. The head of the Department of Pneumology, Allergology and Immunology at the University Hospital Jena warned against carelessly underestimating allergic hay fever, as this could spread to the lower respiratory tract and lead to allergic asthma. For this reason, people with hay fever should discuss the risk and treatment options for their pollen allergy with a specialist as part of a medical consultation.

Treatment options for hay fever In conventional medicine, symptom-relieving drugs are often used to treat a pollen allergy, which provide relief for the patient in the short term, but do not remedy the allergy. To treat the causes of pollen allergy, many doctors now offer hyposensitization, in which those affected are given ever increasing doses of the allergens over a longer period of time in order to bring about an immunological habit - an adaptation of the immune system. However, some significant side effects occur during treatment. From a naturopathic point of view, various treatment options such as homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, autologous blood therapy, hypnosis, Bach flower remedies and intestinal rehabilitation are available in order to return the overreactions of the immune system to a harmless substance in a healthy immunological reaction. (fp)

Also read:
Pollen allergy: hazel and alder approaching
Ambrosia: World's strongest pollen allergen

Image: Günther Richter /

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Video: Coping With Winter Allergies


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