Hay fever: Birch pollen spares allergy sufferers even after Easter

Hay fever: Birch pollen spares allergy sufferers even after Easter

Increased birch pollen flight is not expected until April
The hay fever season is already underway and with the start of the birch pollen flight, allergy sufferers expect increasing complaints. Even though the intermittent cold spells caused slight delays here, according to the German Pollen Information Service (PID) foundation, the birch blossom begins on Easter weekend. However, the burden will initially remain within the coming days. Experts expect an increased birch pollen flight only in April.

The aggressive birch pollen often leads to particularly severe symptoms in people with pollen allergy or hay fever patients. In addition, in view of the mild winter, a particularly early start of the birch pollen flight was expected. However, the cold spells of the past few weeks have delayed the growth phase. The birch blossom is about to begin next weekend. The pollen count is expected to increase in the first weeks of April, reports meteorologist Thomas Dümmel from the Free University (FU) Berlin to the news agency dpa.

Wake up call on Easter weekend
"Although the weather is likely to be friendlier at the weekend (...), we expect the first birch pollen at the earliest in the first week of April," Thomas Dümmel is quoted by the dpa. Because, according to the expert, the birch pollen needs sunny weather at a temperature of 15 degrees or more for several days before it releases pollen the next time it heats up. However, the first wake-up call is expected on Easter weekend.

Particularly strong birch pollen flight expected
Allergy sufferers are initially given a breather over Easter, but afterwards, according to PID, they can expect a particularly strong pollen count. According to the experts, based on their data analysis of the pollen count of the past 15 years, the burden of birch pollen will likely be significantly higher this year in many regions of Germany than in 2015. Because the birches naturally release significantly more pollen every two years.

Hay fever is one of the most common allergic diseases
According to the Robert Koch Institute, hay fever is "one of the most common allergic diseases in children and adolescents as well as in adults." Those affected show an allergic inflammatory reaction in the nose (allergic rhinitis) when they come into contact with certain pollen. Possible complaints are itchy eyes (as a result of allergic conjunctivitis), sneezing, runny nose, difficult nasal breathing and a general feeling of illness with weakness, fatigue and exhaustion, reports the RKI. A medical hay fever diagnosis had been made in 12.6 percent of children and adolescents in their lives, and in adults "the prevalence of hay fever ever medically diagnosed is 16.5% of women and 13.0% of men."

Have symptoms clarified by a doctor
People without a hay fever diagnosis who develop the symptoms mentioned in the coming weeks should, according to Professor Dr. med. Karl-Christian Bergmann, head of PID and expert of the European Foundation for Allergy Research (ECARF), have a medical examination to clarify the suspicion of an allergy. A pollen allergy may require therapeutic measures to prevent the development of asthma. (fp)

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