Pollen flight on vacation foundation german pollen information service

Pollen flight on vacationPatients with a pollen allergy usually know by the second year of symptoms at the latest when the time has come at their own place of residence when their pollen rhinitis makes staying outdoors a torture.

It is a natural desire to go on vacation to a place that is as pollen-free as possible during the pollen season in question.

In order to find this place, one must know first naturally, by which pollen the allergy is released. In Germany, for example, our weekly pollen forecast, the daily pollen load forecast of the German Weather Service (based on our measured pollen data) or the use of the free pollen app "Husteblume" helps you to do this. Then you can recognize well, when which pollen fly, which lead with you to complaints. But the best thing to do is to visit an allergist.

If you are sure which pollen causes the symptoms, you can find places where the corresponding pollen does not yet, no longer or never fly, taking into account the flowering time as well as the landscape and climatic conditions.

These places should be discussed.

High seas

If sufficiently distant from the coast, this is a place where the term "pollen-free" is most likely to apply and can be adopted at any time of year. This requires sea travel.

Islands

The German North Sea and Baltic Sea islands – above all Helgoland – are considered to be relatively "hay fever-proof", which is why the German Allergy and Asthma Association e.V. (daab) founded here in 1897; the oldest patient self-help organization in Germany.

However, the pollen content of the air on the islands is strongly dependent on the prevailing wind direction. In land winds, large amounts of pollen may be transported from the mainland to the islands, so that freedom from symptoms is thus closely tied to wind direction. On larger islands, the pollen produced by the plants on site may also be. Emitted pollen causes significant loads.

Helgoland Island, Germany

Coasts

All coastal landscapes near the sea are low in pollen when the wind is onshore (sea wind) and are therefore recommended. Especially the European Mediterranean region is characterized by a low load of grass and birch pollen near the coast; thus, from April to July, there is a possibility for grass and birch pollen allergy sufferers to escape. On the Black Sea coast, vegetation is similar to that in Central Europe. From the mountainous hinterland, significant pollen loads from grass pollen can set in with offshore winds. Due to the more southerly location, the flowering season generally begins earlier than in Germany.

Prerow, Darb, Germany

High mountains

Pollen loads are usually significantly lower and the pollen season shorter at altitudes above 2000 m and in the alpine region. For example, grasses bloom up there for hardly more than four to six weeks (lowlands over 10 weeks), but can be just as intense during this time as in the lowlands (especially on alpine meadows). Tree pollen flies above the tree line in usually only low concentrations. Especially the peaks of exposure are much lower than in the lowlands. However, complete freedom from symptoms is not to be expected in the central European high mountain regions, since pollen can be blown up from the neighboring (lowland) regions by corresponding air currents.

At the Watzmann, Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany

Abroad/overseas

In the far abroad the plant world differs from that in Germany. In addition, the flowering periods can differ greatly, especially when traveling to the southern hemisphere; in Australia, for example, the highest grass pollen concentrations are to be expected in November/December, while in Germany the loads usually reach their peak in June.

With longer stays, a sensitization to new pollen species cannot be excluded, which is why pollen symptoms can also occur there when visiting again one or two years later.

Inland

In the inland it is difficult to avoid the pollen. The most promising way to avoid pollen is to observe the pollen count times (see pollen count calendar for Germany). Thus, the trees and grasses in the interior of northern European countries generally bloom later than in Germany. Patients with a birch pollen allergy can expect the main bloom to start in March south of the Alps, in April in Central Europe and often in May in Northern Europe and in the mountains. The ash blossom begins in the Mediterranean even in the middle of winter, but reaches Central Europe only in the middle or end of March. Patients with a grass pollen allergy must know that in this country they can expect high pollen concentrations between mid-May and the beginning of July, in the Mediterranean region already from the end of April and in Northern Europe from the beginning of June until late July. The differences in herbs are only marginal. It should be noted that mugwort pollen allergy sufferers are more likely to encounter high pollen concentrations in Eastern and Southeastern Europe than in Western Europe. Even within Germany, the northeast of the country is more affected by mugwort pollen than the southwest.

Within Europe, there are regions that are either spared or even more affected by certain types of pollen due to their biogeographical location. For example, birch pollen in southwestern Europe (southern Spain and Portugal) plays practically no role in the southern Mediterranean region and the Canary Islands, whereas the pollen load of birch in Scandinavia and the Baltic States ames higher values than here in Germany.

On the other hand, if pollen of other tree species, such as oak, beech or sycamore, is considered, the Scandinavian countries are significantly less affected than Germany. Also herb pollen are there usually less often in the air than in this country. The allergenic glasswort does not occur at all in Scandinavia, but is a significant allergy trigger in the Mediterranean region.

The "pollen-poor" vacation can be planned under consideration of the botanical and climatic points of view, if one knows, to which pollen one is allergic. Depending on the weather conditions in the respective year, the flight times of allergenic pollen are subject to large annual fluctuations, which is why all the periods of increased or low pollen concentrations given are only approximate.

Forecasts of pollen count in Europe can be found for example here.

Updated on 20.05.2021 by Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Christian Bergmann. Matthias Werchan on 26.05.2021. med. Karl-Christian Bergmann. Matthias Werchan on 26.05.2021.05.2021.

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