Allergies- Useful tips to recognise and treat pollen allergy

The human immune system sometimes responds hyper sensitively, and allergies can be the result of this organism sensitivity. Allergies are not uncommon in children nor adolescents; they can continuously occur throughout one’s life.

Symptoms of pollen allergy

Ordinary activities, even just taking a walk in a park, can represent a challenge for individuals with allergies. The body reacts defensively to pollen, and provokes allergic reactions such as itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and fever.

In the most extreme cases, some individuals may even experience an allergic shock, which can lead to respiratory and circulatory arrest. However, one may not recognise these symptoms as the symptoms of allergy; sometimes, one may suspect that these symptoms are the result of a cold. However, fatigue, headaches, and irritability can also occur as the result of allergies.

The pollen allergy, which manifests itself primarily through sinus pressure, itchy eyes, and runny nose, is one of the most widespread types of allergies. The immune system falsely perceives pollen as a danger and releases antibodies to fight it. Pollen releases chemicals into the blood, such as histamines, and these may cause cold-like symptoms.

Allergies

Allergy test

Your physician may recommend you to do an allergy test, in which the allergist will conduct a skin test in order to evaluate whether you might have an allergy or not. During the allergy scratch testing, the allergist will expose your skin to allergy substances (allergens), and will observe the skin reaction for any signs of allergic reaction. Your skin will get slightly swollen and red if you are allergic to a certain allergen.

Depending on the strength and nature of the allergy, the following medications can alleviate the symptoms: antihistamines, decongestants, nasal spray attenuators, steroid nasal sprays, and/or eye drops. Even if you can get the drugs without a prescription, we advise you to talk to your doctor first, in order to make sure you choose the right medication. There is also immunotherapy, in which you gradually get smaller doses of the allergen to gradually strengthen your immune system.

Allergies

Helpful tips for fighting against hay fever

1. Stay inside as much as possible during increased levels of pollen concentration in the air

2. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from pollen irritation

3. If you wish to avoid the highest levels of pollen in the city, avoid spending time outside in the evenings. On the other hand, countryside features high level of pollen in the mornings.

4. Once you arrive home, change your clothes and wash your hair before going to bed. Simple tricks such as these will keep the pollen concentration inside your home to the minimum.

5. Travel to low allergen areas - islands, mountains and the seaside.

6. Turn off the ventilation while driving and keep the window closed so that pollen does not get inside the car; pollen filter installed inside your car is a great solution to minimize pollen concentration

7. Vacuum cleaners with special particulate filters are beneficial in fighting against pollen. Remember to replace the filter bag every two weeks.

8. The pollen concentration appears to be especially high on breezy days. On the other hand, rain tends to decrease the concentration of the allergens. Take advantage to enjoy post rain walks and avoid pollen.

The bottom line is: allergies are difficult to deal with, but tips from above and medication (recommended by your doctor) might help you against allergies (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373045) Do not forget to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

More information about allergies can be found at the allergy information service, please click here: https://www.allergyuk.org/

Pollen Forecasts: https://www.worcester.ac.uk/about/academic-schools/school-of-science-and-the-environment/science-and-the-environment-research/national-pollen-and-aerobiology-research-unit/pollen-forecast.aspx