Pollen allergy how to recognize the symptoms health center kleis

Pollen allergy: Increasingly common only in old age20 percent of Germans now suffer from a pollen allergy. More and more people over the age of 40 are also affected. How to tell if runny nose and sneezing are really hay fever symptoms.

Those who did not have hay fever as a child are not immune to developing pollen allergy later in life. Hay fever is often mistaken for a cold and treated incorrectly. Only when the symptoms do not go away or become worse and worse do sufferers turn to a doctor.

Pollen allergy or cold?

The symptoms are often similar. But there are a few differences that reveal whether it's hay fever or a cold:

Pollen allergy

– The secretion in the nose is fluid and clear – Sneezing attacks occur in fits and starts, often when moving outside – Lasts longer than two weeks and can last a whole pollen season – Improves or disappears with longer periods of rain


– Initially, the secretion is liquid and clear, it changes after a few days, then the nose is rather congested and the secretion is yellowish – Sneezing attacks are rather punctual, so at most one to two sneezes in a row – Usually subsides after two weeks – Does not improve during longer rain phases

Pollen allergy: recognizing the symptoms

The typical symptoms of pollen allergy are:

– itchy nose with runny nose – strong sneezing attacks, sometimes lasting several minutes – itchy, reddened and watery eyes similar to conjunctivitis – swollen, dry-irritated eyelids – sometimes itching of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat – possible impairment of night sleep, due to this and due to the allergy itself strong fatigue during the day – feeling of illness with aching limbs and exhaustion – similar to flu

As long as pollen fly the symptoms occur. The body's own messenger substance histamine is responsible for this. In mild winters, such as this one, the pollen season can start very early. Then alder or hazel can begin to bloom as early as January. To release your pollen into the air. In addition, pollen is carried through the air for hundreds of kilometers, so that it is almost impossible to avoid it. Depending on the trigger, a distinction is made between grain, grass and tree pollen allergies.

Attention cross allergy

Some people develop an intolerance to certain foods such as apples, nuts, strawberries or kiwis in addition to hay fever. This is called cross-allergy. Since allergens are similar, our immune system cannot distinguish them from each other. For example, 50 percent of people who are allergic to birch trees also have an allergic reaction to apples.

What flies when?

You can get a current pollen forecast via the joint service of the German Pollen Information Service (PID) foundation and the German Weather Service (DWD).

Pollen allergy: What helps?

A variety of remedies are used to keep symptoms at bay in the event of a pollen allergy. It is important to treat allergy, otherwise asthma may develop later:

Antihistamines bind the histamine released by the body. Nasal sprays and eye drops work directly on the spot and can quickly relieve symptoms. In addition, tablets help against the typical symptoms, as they have a longer effect. They should be taken regularly throughout the pollen season. Newer antihistamines, the so-called second-generation agents, have a more targeted effect. They do not reach the brain. Do not make you tired or only a little tired. Often, however, you still feel tired, which is not due to the tablets, but to the allergy itself.

These anti-allergic medicines work very gently, they have been known for a very long time and are therefore also suitable for pregnant women. The remedies should be used at least one week before the first pollen count.

Nasal sprays with a long-acting cortisone have been available in pharmacies without a prescription for a few years now. They have an anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effect, develop their effect directly in the nose and usually only need to be used once a day.

Agents from the group of alpha-sympathomimetics, the well-known "cold sprays," can help in the acute phase. They leave the mucous membranes of the nose. Decongest the sinuses. Advantage: rapid improvement. Attention: Do not take for more than seven days. Also the combination tablet of an antihistamine. Pseudoephedrine should not be taken for longer than two weeks. Otherwise, a habituation effect occurs, the mucous membranes dry out, they can no longer ward off pathogens properly, they bleed easily and the mucous membranes swell again immediately after use.

Eye drops with tear substitute fluid have a moisturizing and cooling effect. Saline nasal sprays moisten the nasal mucous membranes and remove the pollen. A thermal water spray from your pharmacy will also relieve itching throughout the day.

Wash your hair in the evening, do not change in the bedroom and leave your clothes and thus the pollen outside so that you can sleep better.

What else you should consider with hay fever, you will learn here.

For a clear nose

Nasal rinses with saline solutions or ready-made saline solutions decongest the nasal mucous membranes and flush out pollen. This can alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. In the pharmacy you can get nasal douches and rinses. We will be happy to advise you on how to use them.

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