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Climate change causes more pollen pollution

Climate change causes more pollen pollution

Allergy sufferers have to suffer more and more due to climate change

According to a current study, ever increasing pollen levels in Europe are expected in the future. Urban regions are particularly affected, because the main cause seems to be the rising CO2 concentration. Allergy sufferers have to be prepared for more severe and longer pollen times.

Allergy sufferers in cities particularly affected An international research team led by eco-climatologist Prof. Annette Menzel from the Technical University (TU) Munich writes in the online journal "PLoS ONE" that the amount of pollen has "increased significantly" across Europe in recent years. This was determined using pollen time series from 13 countries. It also turned out that cities with an average of three percent pollen growth per year are particularly affected. In rural areas, the amount of pollen has only increased by an average of one percent per year, as the research team at the TU announced in Munich on Monday.

The researchers had come to the conclusion that this trend would increase further. The reason is climate change and in particular the increasing CO2 pollution. The increased carbon dioxide concentration accelerates plant growth and thus pollen production. This has been confirmed by both laboratory tests and some field studies. In addition, milder temperatures and immigrated plant species led to a longer pollen season. "The urban climate is already warmer and drier today, and there is also higher air pollution," explains Menzel. In urban regions, the temperature is already one to three degrees higher than in rural areas Menzel warns that there are already conditions in urban areas that are also expected in future in urban areas.

Number of allergy sufferers is increasing steadily The Medical Association of German Allergists (√ĄDA) assumes that around 23 to 25 percent of Germans are affected by hay fever. If the allergic runny nose is not treated, it can even lead to allergic asthma in a third of those affected, reports the Foundation of the German Pollen Information Service (PID).

Overall, allergies are increasing. However, it is not only the amount of pollen that is crucial for estimating the future exposure to allergies, since pollen is only the carrier of allergy-causing substances. Allergologist Prof. Claudia Traidl-Hoffman from the Allergy and Environment Center at the TU and the Helmholtz Center in Munich, together with Menzel, is researching allergy developments in cities and in the country. She found that the release of allergy-promoting substances varied from year to year. It also depends on whether the pollen came from rural or urban areas. Corresponding research results should be available soon. "The view of the climate future is not only unpleasant for city dwellers," warn the researchers.

In the case of pollen allergy, beware of cross allergies For pollen allergy sufferers, be particularly careful with pome and stone fruit due to possible cross allergies. The European Foundation for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) in Berlin therefore advises eating this fruit only when heated, as this destroys the heat-sensitive allergens. Cross allergies occur because the allergens of the fruit are very similar in structure to those of the birch pollen. The immune system may not be able to tell the difference and responds with typical symptoms such as tingling and swelling in the mouth and throat area. In severe cases, life-threatening situations can occur due to shortness of breath.

Help from naturopathy for allergies
In naturopathy, pollen allergy is not only seen as a problem of the nose or itchy eyes, but of the entire human organism. Many therapeutic concepts in naturopathy are therefore holistic. The main focus is to bring the overreactions of the immune system back to an innocuous external stimulus, which means that the body is able to regulate health in a healthy manner. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which also includes acupuncture, homeopathy and therapy with vital substances can provide relief. In addition, many naturopaths offer Bach flower treatment, autologous blood therapy, hypnosis and intestinal rehabilitation for pollen allergies. (ag)

Also read:
Hay fever: Now the birch pollen is flying
Pollen allergy: The hay fever season begins
Particularly strong birch pollen flight expected
Every third German suffers from allergies
Alternative treatments for allergies
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Allergy sufferers suffer from extreme pollen pollution

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