Pollen allergy - a life with hay fever
The pollen season is from February to October. In Germany, around every sixth person suffers from a pollen allergy, also known as hay fever. For many allergy sufferers, this is a period of time that is associated with a reduced quality of life and bothersome symptoms. A runny nose, itchy eyes and constant coughing are constant companions in everyday life. The human body ingests the pollen through the respiratory tract, where, depending on the type of plant, it can provoke an overreaction of the immune system. Those affected learn important facts about hay fever and what they can do about it.
What is hay fever?
First of all, it should be clarified what this disease is about: In principle, hay fever is just another name for a pollen allergy. Some people are genetically determined or particularly prone to allergies due to environmental influences. In such a case, the immune system can react to defensive substances, such as pollen, which are actually harmless. The body suddenly forms antibodies and attacks certain proteins in the pollen. Depending on the type of allergy, it is pollen from grass, bushes, trees or grain. As part of this defense process, the body’s own hormone histamine is released, which triggers the classic hay fever symptoms. Anyone could be affected – whether as a child or as an adult.
There are many reasons for developing a pollen allergy. In addition to individual risk factors, climatic changes and the associated longer flowering times, diet and increasing hygiene standards have an influence on this. The latter is particularly irritating at first glance. The improvement in hygienic conditions in all areas of life means that the human immune system is under-challenged. As a result, it can happen that the body classifies pollen as threatening and combats it.
Hay fever symptoms
Classic symptoms of a pollen allergy are runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Since the mucous membranes in particular absorb pollen, swelling often occurs in these areas. Anyone who suspects a pollen allergy should see a doctor urgently. The first point of contact here is the family doctor. If he is not already able to carry out an allergy test himself, he will refer you to an appropriate specialist (allergist, pulmonologist, ophthalmologist). In no case should hay fever be underestimated.
If left untreated, the symptoms mentioned can worsen and develop migraines as well as sleep, concentration and gastrointestinal disorders. In the long run, the allergic reactions can even lead to permanent damage to the lungs. Another important aspect that should be clarified by the doctor are cross allergies.
Since the body does not react to the pollen, but to the proteins contained in it, in the event of an allergy, it must be checked whether a similar reaction occurs when consuming foods with similar protein components.
Diagnosis of hay fever: what now?
If a pollen allergy is diagnosed, however, that is not the end of the world. With the right medication, a few simple tricks and aids, hay fever symptoms can be managed well.
As discussed with your doctor or pharmacist, taking antihistamines is an easy way to relieve symptoms. In addition to these remedies, there are a few rules of conduct that can make life easier for allergy sufferers: For example, long stays in the fresh air should be avoided during the allergy season, as pollen is strongly spread by the wind. A pollen calendar can also help with orientation. It provides information about when which pollen occurs with which concentration.
In addition to nutrition, other external factors play a role: Pollen spreads through the air and can accumulate in hair and clothing over the course of the day. Allergy sufferers should therefore wash their hair thoroughly in the evening before going to bed and should not take the clothes they have worn into the bedroom. Regularly wiping the floors with a damp cloth also minimizes the pollen load in the apartment.
It is also advisable to change your diet during the phases of pollen count. Consumption of mature cheeses, wheat products, chocolate, legumes and tomatoes should be reduced. Products with a high yeast content and vinegar can also have a negative effect on allergy symptoms.
Instead, hay fever sufferers do best to fill the refrigerator with foods rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, and calcium. It has been proven that magnesium, zinc, selenium and manganese also reduce the symptoms of hay fever.
The alpha and omega of hay fever: correct ventilation
For an optimal indoor climate and personal well-being, the home should be well ventilated every day. With hay fever patients this ventilation can become a torture. That is why it makes sense to ventilate only in the morning and in the evening or at night. The pollen concentration in cities is lowest between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. In rural areas, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. is the perfect time to open the windows. For those who find it difficult to ventilate extensively at these times, an automatic ventilation system can be used. Decentralized ventilation units, in particular, can easily be used during renovation work and equipped with the appropriate filters. In contrast to simple window ventilation, the devices have integrated filter systems. The ventilation systems in the house offer an optimal way of protecting yourself against pollen, spores and other environmental pollutants in a controlled and reliable manner. Correct ventilation with pollen allergy can be guaranteed with our decentralized ventilation devices.
The pollen filters of filter class G2 are particularly suitable for use during the pollen season for proper ventilation in case of pollen allergy. With the help of an electrostatic material, they simply and effectively filter various allergens from the air before they can even enter the home. InVENTer’s high-performance filters in particular clean the outside air very precisely. The fine filters with filter class F5 do not allow pollen, spores and pollen to get into the interior. Fine deposits such as B Fly ash, coal dust, but also bacteria and germs can be separated from the outside air here. With the activated carbon filters it is even possible to filter physico-chemical components such as odors, gases, vapors, toxins and pollutants from the air. In large cities in particular, the inVENTer ventilation units with these filter technologies can permanently ensure a clean supply of fresh air in your own home.