Allergy sufferers have so far been spared strong pollen count
While most Germans are increasingly bothered by the recurring cold spells, the relatively cool weather is also a good thing for pollen allergy sufferers: the expected explosion of the pollen count has initially shifted. According to the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB), the air pollution with birch pollen, to which many people are particularly allergic, is still relatively low.
Although hazel and alder pollen have been in the air for some time, the concentrations have so far been kept within reasonable limits due to the cool weather. In addition, significantly fewer people are allergic to alder and hazel pollen than, for example, to birch pollen. According to the DAAB, around 15 percent of the population suffer from hay fever or a pollen allergy. For them, the long winter has the advantage that they can still be outdoors without the annoying hay fever symptoms.
So far only little pollen in the air The weather plays a decisive role in the development of the inflorescence of the individual plant species. Even early bloomers like hazel and alder, whose pollen is already flying in the winter months, require a minimum of sun and warmth. The repeated cold spells and the low number of hours of sun have contributed to the fact that the air pollution with hazel and alder pollen has so far been kept within limits. According to the DAAB expert Anja Schwalfenberg to the news agency "dpa", the birch blossom is currently still in its early stages. The persistent cold has meant that the birch inflorescences are still relatively small and so far there is hardly any birch pollen in the air.
Improvement in pollen flight forecast planned So far, how the pollen count will develop in the coming weeks is still relatively unclear. Because in addition to "other location and weather factors", "the development of flowers depends on the temperature," emphasized Anja Schwalfenberg. With the help of a new early warning system, pollen allergy sufferers should be able to find out much better about the actual pollen pollution in the air, according to the DAAB. On the basis of the "hay fever reporting system" initiative, the pollen flight forecast should be significantly improved. For this it is "useful to include the current complaints of the patients." Those suffering from hay fever should report their observations to the DAAB so that they can then be incorporated into the pollen flight calendar.
Pollen allergy combined with an increased risk of asthma Hay fever is not only annoying for those affected because they constantly suffer from runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing attacks, but pollen allergy also poses further health risks. According to the DAAB, around a third of hay fever patients develop “year-round allergic asthma.” In addition, about 60 percent of pollen allergy sufferers are affected by cross allergy. The pollen count can also "intensify other allergies, for example to food, and cause skin problems such as an atopic dermatitis," reports the German Allergy and Asthma Association. (fp)
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