Pollen allergy affects thousands of people. "Symptoms that start especially with the arrival of spring may start earlier this year due to climate changes," said Professor of Allergy and Asthma Association. Dr. Ahmet Akçay explained the details of pollen allergy and the precautions that can be taken.
What is Pollen Allergy?
Pollen allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to some pollen that spreads from trees, weeds and grasses. The immune system, which sees some proteins in these pollens as harmful invaders, engages in a struggle and an allergic reaction occurs as a result of this struggle.
When Does Pollen Allergy Begin?
Pollen allergies usually start in the spring. However, there are plants that spread their pollen in other months, and the pollens of these plants can also cause an allergic reaction in susceptible people. Some people are affected by pollen allergy during certain seasons, while others are affected throughout the year and may experience symptoms.
Allergy Season May Start Earlier Due To Climate Change And Pollen Transport
Allergy sufferers are no strangers to pollen problems. But now, due to climate change, the pollen season is taking longer and starting earlier than usual. Higher temperatures cause flowers to bloom earlier, while higher carbon dioxide levels cause more pollen to be produced. Pollen can travel hundreds of kilometers, and with changing weather conditions and changing species distribution, it becomes possible for humans to be exposed to "new" types of pollen, that is, pollen that the body is not accustomed to.
What are the Symptoms of Pollen Allergy?
Symptoms may vary in people with pollen allergy. In some people, pollen allergy can reach a level that can affect daily life. We can list the typical symptoms of pollen allergy as follows:
- Runny nose with watery mucus, stuffy nose, itchy nose, sneezing
- Redness, itching, irritation in the eyes,
- Burning, itching in the mouth and throat,
- Itchy ear canals
- Dry cough (especially at night), wheezing, difficulty breathing (asthma),
- Worsening of atopic dermatitis, in rare cases hives, rash,
- Fatigue, sleep disturbance, headache.
Is There a Treatment for Pollen Allergy?
There are some medications used in the treatment of pollen allergy. However, these drugs are not drugs that can prevent allergic reactions. These drugs can be used to help alleviate the symptoms caused by pollen allergy and to help the person continue his / her daily life comfortably. For example, medications such as antihistamine medications, nasal sprays, eye drops can help reduce the discomfort caused by the symptoms.
Allergy Vaccine Provides Effective Results in Pollen Allergies
Most people with pollen allergy do not fully benefit from medications. In addition, continuous drug use may lead to some undesirable situations. At this point, these people can be immunotherapy, ie allergy vaccine. Allergy vaccine is a long-term treatment that helps prevent or reduce the severity of an allergic reaction. The purpose of this treatment is to make the body insensitive to the allergen. The vaccine created from the allergen essence is given to the patient gradually and at the end of a certain period, it is aimed to make the patient insensitive to the allergen substance.
What Precautions Can Those With Pollen Allergy Take?
In order to avoid pollen allergy, it will be useful to find out which pollens you are sensitive to first. In this way, you can predict when your symptoms will occur and take precautions. Some precautions that people with pollen allergy can take include:
- Weather reports often contain information about pollen. Follow the weather reports and avoid going outside whenever possible when pollen counts are high.
- Avoid drying clothes and bedding outside when the pollen count is high.
- Keep windows and doors closed in your home and car during allergy season.
- When you come home from outside, take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes.
- To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses that wrap around your eyes.
- Avoid grassy areas such as parks and fields when the pollen count is highest in the morning, evening, or early night.