Wednesday, March 22

Spring is here: 14 tips to combat pollen allergies

Spring will arrive shortly and with it the longer days, an increase in temperature and also in environmental humidity, with more rain. As a result, the plant world that surrounds us will awaken to flowering and reproduction, which in almost all cases involves the mediation of insects or the wind.

Ten widespread habits that favor the appearance of allergies


So lucky, the air will be filled with active pollen particles, as well as small seeds that will travel thanks to the wind to spread. And this is where spring allergies come into play, in a season that for many is a source of joy, torture for not a few people.

According to the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC), Some 8 million people suffer from pollen allergies in our country.a figure that is equivalent to 17% of the population.

It’s an allergy causes us to tear up, sniffle, wheeze, or have plugged ears, clouding our quality not only of life but also of sleep, ultimately turning spring into a nightmare. To the point that we could well subscribe to the opening verse of the poem the wasteland by TS Eliot which reads: “April is the cruelest month.”

We are more and more allergic people

But that of spring allergies, and by extension throughout the year, is a problem that does not stop growing. THE SEAIC estimates that this figure could increase to twelve million within a decade.

Reasons for this increase include climate changewhich increasingly extends the flowering periods towards the end of winter and spring, as well as the disappearance of plant biodiversity, with a predominance of monocultures, which gives preponderance in the air to allergenic pollen from species such as olive trees, cypress , pine, birch, etc.

Besides, abandoning the mediterranean diet it is also affecting our gut flora, which is a major checkpoint for autoimmune processes. The poorer in diversity and island intestinal flora, the greater number of autoimmune processes are unleashed.

Among them allergies, which are the way our defenses attack foreign bodies, in this case pollen, responsible for 80% of spring allergies, in addition to activating sensitivity to another 20% of possible autoimmune processes.

According to says Alicia Armentia Medina, professor of Allergy at the University of Valladolid“thanks to the development of biotechnology, crops have been modified to incorporate pathogen resistance proteins (viruses, fungi, bacteria) which are a double-edged sword, because with us they have behaved like the most aggressive allergens”.

On the other hand, Ignacio Dávila González, allergist and current president of the SEAICdeclared in this report by ConsumoClaro that “it has been proven that, for example, some of the particles derived from combustion engines, especially diesel engines, increase the body’s response to pollens.”

Along the same lines, the SEAIC reports in a document that “pollens from contaminated areas generate new proteins called ‘stress proteins’ that they have a greater capacity to stimulate the allergic response of people”.

which explains the most prevalence of allergy sufferers in large cities compared to rural environments, where paradoxically pollen is much more present.

That is to say that today there are more and more factors that unleash allergies and sensitize new people who were not allergic before. However, although we cannot avoid allergies, we do have it in our power to minimize it with certain strategies to reduce the pollen load in the air we breathe.

14 Tips to Reduce Spring Allergies

  1. avoid nature in times of pollination of the plant that affects us. In the aforementioned websites we can find out the pollen levels and thus avoid being upset.
  2. If we have a contact allergy, something not so frequent, let’s avoid mowing the grass or ivy, as well as being in gardens where it can be pruned.
  3. The sunny and windy days are not ideal For allergy sufferers, because the humidity is low in the air and this favors the dispersion of pollen. Better stay home.
  4. At home, especially in bedrooms and against the norm, we will not ventilate or at least we will avoid doing so during sunny hours. If anything we will do it at sunset. At night, even if the heat is pressing, we will close the windows. Also, it’s not a bad idea to mist the room with a spray before going to sleep to make the pollen precipitate.
  5. One has to apply the vacuum cleaner rigorously on carpets and rugs, using anti-mite HEPA filters.
  6. We will shake the curtains, blankets or down comforters well and other materials that retain dust and the we will wash frequently.
  7. The stuffed animals, if we have small children, we will also wash them often.
  8. And our four-legged relatives -dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.-, especially if they are long-haired, they will refrain from entering the rooms during the spring, since pollen is certain to have accumulated on its fur. It is not a bad idea at this time to wash them a little more frequently, since they also frequent nature more.
  9. The clothes in the dryer and if not, on a clothesline inside the house; if we dry it outside, it will be like a Trojan horse: it will bring pollen into the house.
  10. If we are allergic, our respiratory system will be more sensitive and consequently we should not frequent polluted environments of tobacco smoke.
  11. The bedroom It must be a somewhat low temperature and dry, since dust mites are very persistent – pollen can increase sensitivity to them – and they multiply best when there is an air humidity between 75% and 80% and a temperature of 21 °C or higher. They are scarce in dry places and die when the air humidity drops between 40% and 50%.
  12. We will not drive with the windows open and if we go on a motorcycle we will always do so with sunglasses or helmet visor down.
  13. In the street, we will carry some wraparound glasses that prevent eye contact with pollenand if we have respiratory problems we will use a painter’s mask.
  14. let’s not rule out go to an allergistsince you can prescribe a medicine or vaccine that neutralizes the effects of pollen and incidentally makes the steps explained above unnecessary.

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