Hay fever - symptoms and treatment in adults


What is allergic hay fever

hay fever

Like many other tooth-crushing terms, we owe the concept of hay fever to the Latin language. Pollen means pollen in Latin.

Hay fever is a violent allergic reaction of the body to pollen. According to the international classification of diseases ICD 10 (J30), hay fever is an allergic rhinitis caused by proteins in plant pollen.

Now you know that saying hay fever due to pollen is not correct. It turns out to be a tautology.

When my great-grandmother was young, hay fever was called hay fever. The peasants believed that the cause of tears and runny noses was hidden in the hay.

They didn’t take my great-grandmother to haymaking - she coughed, sneezed and broke out in a rash. They were treated with ash and urine. And, as they say, it helped.

Another fun semantic fact about hay fever is allergic fireworks or allergic greeting . Have you heard of this one? This is when an allergy sufferer constantly tries to scratch his poor nose with his palm from bottom to top.

When does flowering begin?

It's different in different regions. The warmer the spring, the brighter the allergy sufferer’s feelings. The rainier the spring, the longer the symptoms. The beginning of tree dusting depends on the weather: the number of warm days, precipitation, wind. One year there may be more pollen, while another there will be very little. The sensations of allergy sufferers can also be different from year to year - from mild manifestations to bronchospasm.

Table - allergen flowering calendar

March, AprilMay JuneJuly AugustSeptember October
Northwesthazel, alder, willow, oak maple, birch, dandelionbirch, oak, poplar, linden, ash, maple, aspen, conifers, herbs and cerealsherbs and cereals, weeds,weeds
Middle lanehazel, alder, willow, oak maple, birch, dandelionbirch, oak, poplar, linden, ash, maple, aspen, conifers, herbs and cerealsherbs and grains, weedsweeds
Volga regionalder, willowbirch, oak, maple, aspen, pine, meadow weeds and cereal grasses, dandelionherbs and grains, weedsweeds
Uralalder, aspen, hazel, willow, birch, elm, mapleherbs and cereals, birch, oakherbs and grains, weedsweeds
Southcypress, apricot, cherry plum, willow, cherry, oak, maple, ash, peach, hazel, blue spruce, plane tree, lilac, chestnutsunflower, geranium, gorse, rose, honeysuckle, herbs and grainssunflower, weeds, elderberryweeds

Plant pollen sizes range from 5 to 200 microns (microns), with an average of 20-60 microns in diameter. Therefore, a mosquito net does not interfere with pollen. The wind carries pollen over vast distances; many allergy sufferers react to pollen from trees that do not even grow in their area. Birch and ragweed pollen is transported over distances of up to 1000 km. Alder pollen - 500 km, willow - 60 km. Linden pollen is heavy and sticky - it hardly spreads and is pollinated by insects.

Plants spray pollen at different times of the day. The concentration of alder pollen is 10% lower at night, and the peak of pollen is in the afternoon. The birch is dusty both day and night. The maximum amount of birch pollen in the air is in the afternoon, after 15.00

Wormwood produces almost no dust at night. But ragweed, on the contrary, is more active at night - 30% more than during the day. Ragweed pollen concentrations peak a couple of hours after sunrise.

Dry, warm and sunny weather with a light breeze blows are ideal conditions for plant dusting. If you live high, don't count on your luck. The wind lifts pollen to a great height and even on the hundredth floor it will be impossible to hide from it.

Only continuous rain washes away the pollen. Light rain crushes pollen into smaller components, which easily penetrate the bronchi and can cause deterioration of the condition. After heavy and rapid rain, the concentration of pollen in the air increases.

There is such a thing as thunderstorm asthma . This is when moisture increases the concentration of allergens in the air, and wind lifts dust, pollen and other allergens from roads. Not everyone can cope with such a massive attack. At such times it is better to stay at home.

Sudden frosts will not help allergy sufferers either. If it gets sharply cold, the plants’ anthers simply close until it warms up. Therefore, in cold weather the dust expands. As temperatures rise, plants begin to make up for lost time with a vengeance.

Many trees and grasses have similar protein allergens. For example, some birch squirrels are similar to timothy squirrels. Plant proteins are similar to some proteins in fruits and vegetables. If you react to birch, it may also react to apple or celery - this is called cross-reaction .

Hay fever

Hay fever (from Latin pollen - pollen) is a chronic seasonal allergic inflammatory disease caused by plant pollen, manifested clinically in the form of seasonal allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis and sometimes accompanied by the development of bronchial asthma and other symptoms.

In the medical literature you can find various names for hay fever : hay fever, spring catarrh, seasonal rhinitis and conjunctivitis, pollen asthma, etc. Self-healing of hay fever, as a rule, does not occur, therefore in all countries there are many methods of treating this disease.

Prevalence of hay fever

Hay fever is one of the most common allergic diseases of people of any age and gender. The number of patients with hay fever in different countries ranges from 1.6 to 24%. The climatic and geographical features of the flora of the region have an important influence on the epidemiology of hay fever.

Hay fever is a disease with a genetic predisposition. Hay fever often develops in children in families in which one or both parents have allergic diseases.

In adults, hay fever occurs more often than in children and prevails between the ages of 18 and 40; women are more likely to suffer from hay fever. In the European part of Russia (and Belarus, which is close to it according to climatic data), according to some data, the incidence of hay fever is 5% - 7%. According to another epidemiological study, in Russia the incidence of hay fever among adults ranges from 3 to 5%; while in Rostov - 4.5%, in Krasnodar 6%, in Saratov - 5%, in Moscow 4%, in St. Petersburg - 3%. The number of patients with hay fever throughout the world doubles every 10 years.

In children, hay fever is more common between the ages of 6 and 14 years, boys predominate - 65%. In Moscow, hay fever was detected in 3% of children, in Eastern Siberia in 5% of schoolchildren. In all countries of the world, the number of children with hay fever increases every 10 years, on average by 60%.

Hay fever is caused by pollen from wind-pollinated plants. Of the many thousands of plants found throughout the world, approximately 60 produce pollen that causes hay fever. The pollen of these plants has extremely small sizes from 10 to 50 microns, is released in huge quantities and is easily carried by the wind. The penetration of pollen through the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and eyes is facilitated by a special enzyme contained in it.

The etiology of hay fever in each climate zone depends on the plants growing there. So in Russia, most often this is pollen from meadow grasses.

It is known that the peaks in the content of plant pollen in the air coincide with the period of increasing exacerbation and incidence of hay fever among residents of this region. Therefore, it is very important to know about the content and type of pollen and fungal spores in 1 m3 of inhaled air throughout the entire plant pollination season. This information is necessary for every patient suffering from hay fever.

In 25 European countries there are monitoring stations for pollen of allergenic plants and fungal spores, and they produce calendars. In Russia, 2 stations previously operated - in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Using vacuum traps, they daily determine the composition and concentration of pollen in the city air.

usually three periods of rising pollen levels in the air : spring (trees bloom), summer (meadow grasses bloom) and autumn (weeds bloom). Knowing the flowering calendar of individual plants in a given area and comparing it with the onset of the disease, it is possible to establish the etiology of hay fever, i.e. – a plant that is a source of pollen that causes hay fever.

Causes of allergies to pollen

causes of hay fever

Why does the allergy sufferer’s body dislike pollen from harmless plants so much?

It's funny, but medicine cannot yet give an exact answer to this question. There are many assumptions and hypotheses, but little evidence.

In general, plant pollen is an ideal allergen. Not every substance can become an allergen - you need the right size and structure. You can't fool the immune system.

So, pollen, in this regard, fits perfectly. Pollen molecules are small enough to overcome the barrier tissues of the body. And at the same time large enough to be noticed by the immune system.

Heredity Heredity is considered the most studied cause of hay fever. But if you don’t have relatives with pollen allergies, it’s too early to relax. Genes mutate, and you can become patient zero for your descendants.

The opposite is also true - if there are allergies in the family, the child will not necessarily get hay fever. Genes transmit a predisposition to a disease, not the disease itself.

External factors Environmental conditions should not be discounted. They can cause hay fever no less than heredity.

  • high concentration of pollen in the air during pregnancy and in the first year of the baby’s life;
  • infectious diseases of the respiratory tract under the age of 3 years;
  • place and living conditions: damp house, excessive sterility.

Hormonal changes and stress Often, hay fever first occurs during pregnancy. Interestingly, according to the observations of doctors, in allergy sufferers over 65 years of age, the intensity of the reaction decreases. Although, of course, there are people over 70 who have allergies.

Vitamin D deficiency I found research showing that a lack of vitamin D increases the permeability of the skin and mucous membranes, increasing the risk of developing allergies.

Atopic dermatitis People with atopic dermatitis are at risk for developing hay fever. Atopics have a damaged skin barrier due to a lack of the protein filaggrin. Allergen proteins land on the skin and easily enter the body, where they are met by the immune system.

Until recently, hay fever was almost never seen in children under 3 years of age. Recently, the disease has become younger. One-year-old children with allergies are no longer uncommon.

Is it possible to outgrow hay fever? It turns out that it is possible, but it happens extremely rarely. If left untreated, hay fever will remain with the allergy sufferer for many years and may worsen over time.

Treatment

If allergic reactions occur, you should not prescribe medications yourself and use them for years during periods of exacerbations. The correct thing to do is to undergo an examination, identify allergens and receive comprehensive treatment and individual selection of medications. Antihistamines and vasoconstrictor drops can only remove symptoms (not always completely) and make life a little easier for the patient; full treatment is possible only with the use of ASIT, after which you can forget about the manifestation of allergies for many years (the success of treatment is observed, according to various sources, in 80-90% of cases ).

The first course of ASIT begins only during the period of remission, preferably at the beginning of winter. The patient is given a drug with a small amount of allergen by injection; gradually, depending on the body’s reaction, the amount of allergen may increase.

ASIT accustoms the body to pathogens due to a specific immune response, and when the patient encounters them in real life, hay fever does not occur. The first result is noticeable within 3-6 months, so it is important to complete the course before the period of exacerbations begins.

To help the body more easily endure the period of allergies, it is important not to lose sight of prevention:

  • avoiding potential allergens;
  • regular examination of children by an allergist;
  • minimizing interaction with household chemicals;
  • daily wet cleaning;
  • removal of excess textiles and carpets from the interior.

It is recommended to exclude from your diet those foods with which you may be cross-allergic, highly allergenic foods (honey, citrus fruits, spices), add fermented milk products and dried fruits.

Symptoms of hay fever in children and adults

allergy symptoms

Oh, these symptoms! I'm scared to write about them. It's scary because self-medication is our national pastime.

Friends, you need to know about the symptoms in order to clearly explain to the allergist what is happening to you. Perhaps it just seems to you that you are allergic, but the reason for the reactions is completely different.

An allergist I know told me that out of 10 patients, only three are true allergy sufferers. The rest are sent to other specialists.

Your allergy diary will be a good help to the doctor. The sharpest memory is worse than the dullest pencil. Write down every little thing, this will help in diagnosis.

Typical symptoms of allergies, I believe, are known to everyone - runny nose, itchy eyes and tears, sore throat, cough, bronchospasm.

But there are symptoms that are not so easy to correlate with allergies.

The main thing that should immediately arouse your suspicion is the repeated reactions at the same time of year. Please note that reactions may not appear immediately. For example, you walk all day and everything is fine, but in the evening you start to feel bad.

  • Increased body temperature. Sometimes this happens;
  • One eye may react more strongly than the other;
  • There may be abdominal pain - the gastrointestinal mucosa reacts to the allergen in the same way as the nasal mucosa;
  • Nervous tics appear or intensify. Histamine affects the nervous system;
  • Lethargy, drowsiness, irritability, apathy or even depression;
  • Headache;
  • Pulse is higher than normal;
  • Nose bleed;
  • Rash, acne, urticaria, atopic dermatitis worsens;
  • Redness of exposed skin (cheeks, arms, neck);
  • Bruises under the eyes. The reason is swelling of the nose or lack of fresh air;
  • A sore throat;
  • Hoarse voice;
  • Manifestations of bronchial asthma worsen;
  • Snoring and wheezing in sleep;
  • Decreased sense of smell;
  • Enlarged lymph nodes;
  • Pain in joints and muscles.

Hay fever in children

Hay fever in children

Hay fever in children has the same symptoms as in adults. The only difference can be that they are less likely to experience negative manifestations in the genitourinary, nervous and digestive systems.

Many parents are unable to suspect hay fever in children. Therefore, most often they mistake hay fever for a common cold. Although there are differences between these diseases:

  • with hay fever, body temperature does not rise to 38 degrees;
  • absence of a source of infection (for example, a sick family member) with whom there could be contact for transmission of a viral infection;
  • clear nasal discharge (with ARVI, it is most often green);
  • the general condition of the baby is moderately impaired;
  • The child’s appetite is good, while with ARVI it is disrupted: the child eats poorly;
  • Symptoms of hay fever appear and then suddenly disappear. With an acute respiratory infection, the signs do not go away until the baby is completely cured;
  • lack of dynamics towards recovery. With ARVI, the child feels better in a week (if the mother treated the baby), and with seasonal allergies, the runny nose and sneezing do not go away.

If parents have suspicions of hay fever in their children, then they should, first of all, analyze what they did wrong and in what period the son (daughter) began to have symptoms of hay fever (spring, summer, autumn). In this regard, the mother should suspect the allergic nature of the disease.

Hay fever in children most often occurs between the ages of 6–14 years. However, there are cases when seasonal allergies are detected in infants.

To identify the allergen, there are special tests, for example, skin tests, blood tests from a vein. They should be carried out not during the flowering season of plants, so as not to worsen the allergic reaction, but, for example, in winter.

If there is a suspicion of hay fever in a child, then the parents’ task is to consult an allergist about this. He must prescribe adequate treatment, as well as a list of preventive measures that parents must follow to prevent the child from developing bronchial asthma or other complications of hay fever.

How to distinguish hay fever from ARVI

It is not easy even for a doctor to distinguish a cold from an allergy. An experienced ENT specialist, when examining the mucous membrane, will be able to determine the cause of the runny nose and swelling.

We are talking about an experienced ENT specialist. My little allergy sufferer was diagnosed with ARVI for seven months and treated with mixtures.

People recommend one trick. Try taking an antihistamine. If you feel relief, it means you most likely have an allergy. But the trick may not work if the antihistamine is not suitable for you. Some antihistamines can affect inflammation and help manage rhinitis, regardless of its cause.

But this is all a note to the hostess. What do doctors advise you to pay attention to?

How does the disease begin?

ARVI: you know exactly when you have a cold, there is a positive trend in symptoms, and you recover in a couple of weeks.

Allergy: all symptoms are either extended over time, or a clear connection between the allergen and the symptom is visible. No allergen - no symptom. For example, at home with open windows you have a runny nose, come to work, where most of the time the windows are closed and the air conditioners are on - the runny nose goes away.

Symptoms

ARVI: fever, runny nose, cough.

Allergies: swelling of the nose, profuse runny nose, sneezing (especially in series) and itching in the nose, red and itchy eyes, cough and itchy throat, itchy skin.

Itching is the main symptom by which an allergy can be suspected.

But the color and consistency of snot, without an examination by an ENT specialist, does not mean anything.

In the first days of acute respiratory viral infection, the mucus may be clear and liquid, and if you do not blow allergic snot for a long time, it may become yellowish and thick.

Duration of symptoms

ARVI: the condition improves in 7-14 days.

Allergy: symptoms exist as long as there is contact with the allergen.

In any case, if you are not feeling well, do not self-medicate, seek help from a doctor.

How does hay fever develop?

Plant pollen settles on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth, comes into contact with the skin, and penetrates the bronchi along with the inhaled air.

Plant pollen is able to penetrate the body through mucous membranes, which is due to the presence of the so-called “permeability factor” in the pollen composition.

In addition, the penetration of pollen is facilitated by disruption of the protective functions of the upper respiratory tract, which normally should act as a barrier. Such security violations are:

  • Violation of the protective functions of the body's immune cells, granulocytes and macrophages;
  • Lack of secretory immunoglobulin A;
  • Insufficient production of a substance that reduces the activity of the “permeability factor” of plant pollen;
  • Damage to the functions of the ciliated epithelium of the respiratory system, which can occur due to exposure to the “permeability factor” of plant pollen, chemical air pollutants (for example, in people living in unfavorable environmental conditions), and previous viral respiratory diseases

Most of these protection defects can be inherited.

At the point of contact of the mucous membranes with pollen, a local allergic reaction develops. Particles of allergens that can dissolve in water penetrate the epithelium of the mucous membranes, entering the blood and lymph, as a result of which sensitization (the body's susceptibility to allergens) increases and the allergy begins to affect tissues and organs that are not directly in contact with pollen, for example, the lower parts of the organs respiration, digestive organs, kidneys, etc. Pollen allergens that penetrate the blood trigger the immunological phase of the mechanism for the development of hay fever, during which an abnormal response of the human immune system to the penetration of pollen allergens is formed, which within 10-20 minutes after contact with pollen can manifest itself as swelling of the mucous membranes, increased mucus production, spasm smooth muscles (for example, spasm of bronchial smooth muscles).

Diagnostics

allergy diagnosis

There is no need to take tests before meeting with an allergist. And although it seems to us that it is better to come to the appointment with test results, you risk wasting money - tests are expensive.

An allergist will listen to you, examine you, evaluate your symptoms, and only then prescribe certain tests. This is the sequence in which allergies are diagnosed.

Allergy is a clinical diagnosis, it is not made by testing. There must be symptoms and complaints upon contact with the allergen.

What tests can an allergist prescribe?

  • Blood using the ImmunoCap method. Can be taken at any time of the year. It doesn't matter whether you take medications or not. The ImmunoCap method is the most informative analysis in modern allergology. To predict the results of ASIT, the allergist may ask to be tested for major and minor allergen proteins using the ImmunoCap method;
  • Skin tests - not done during flowering;
  • General blood analysis;
  • Fadiatope (ImmunoCap) is often prescribed to children for the initial diagnosis of allergies. The analysis only shows whether there is an allergy or not. You can donate blood from your finger;
  • Allergochip, AllergoExpert 300, ALEX - component allergy diagnostics. You can donate blood from your finger;
  • Rhinocytogram or nasal swab - diagnosis of allergic rhinitis. The result depends on the direct hands of the nurse;
  • The RIDA panel (immunoblot) is a less sensitive test than ImmunoCap;
  • Total immunoglobulin E (IgE) is not informative for diagnosing allergies. It may be elevated in case of other diseases, and be within normal limits in case of allergies;
  • DTK (Mast Cell Degranulation) - not informative, not prescribed in developed countries;
  • IgG to food proteins - according to EAACI, a positive result is not a marker of allergy or pseudo-allergy. Link to the document (in English).

Linked by one chain

However, colds and allergies are still inextricably linked. The fact is that in both acute respiratory viral infections and allergies, inflammation is provoked by the same mediator – histamine. Therefore, children who are often ill are at risk for allergies (especially if there are allergy sufferers in the family). In addition, ARVI in combination with an allergic rhinitis often leads to the development of bronchial asthma. And it can worsen the course of existing asthma. Therefore, it is necessary to especially carefully protect children with allergies from colds, and if it was not possible to avoid the disease, plant-based medications should be avoided. With prolonged use, such drugs can increase susceptibility to allergens.

By the way, if symptoms of hay fever occur, you also need to check whether the child has worms - infection with parasites often leads to allergization of the body. Therefore, it won’t hurt to take a stool test for worm eggs.

Medicines for hay fever

allergy medications

Depending on your reaction to pollen, your allergist will prescribe a list of medications that help your body ignore the pollen.

What is a base

The base is a list of medications that relieve allergy symptoms and help the body during flowering. Protects the body from the allergen.

The base is selected by the doctor individually: cromones, hormones, antihistamines, montelukast, inhalations - to each his own.

It happens that the medicine is not suitable and you have to try something else.

The main thing is to take your medications as prescribed by your allergist. Do not change or discontinue medications yourself.

If the drug is not suitable, ask your doctor to prescribe another one.

Allergy develops suspiciousness, and we largely suspect the manifestations of the disease. Let the allergist always be in touch - this is reassuring.

When is the best time to start taking medications?

Many allergists recommend starting to take prescribed medications a few weeks before flowering begins.

Vaccinations, mantoux tests and planned operations

Postpone vaccinations and surgeries until better times. The body does not need any extra stress during flowering.

Sorbents

Sorbents do not treat allergies, do not cleanse the blood, and are not prescribed by evidence-based medicine doctors for the flowering period. In addition, some sorbents themselves can cause allergies.

You can read more about sorbents here: https://healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal#section10 https://webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-269/activated-charcoal https://www .worldgastroenterology.org/guidelines/global-guidelines

Oxolinic ointment

It is not a barrier agent and does not protect against viruses and allergens. On the contrary, as doctors emphasize, the sticky base of the ointment sticks together the hairs inside the nose, which filter the incoming air.

Homeopathy

Allergists do not recommend treating allergies with homeopathy.

How to treat allergies

The only effective way to treat allergies is ASIT immunotherapy. In allergology, it is believed that allergies cannot be cured, you can only go into protracted remission. During remission, allergy symptoms do not bother you or bother you only slightly. Immunotherapy ASIT helps to achieve this state.

ASIT does this - they introduce microdoses of the allergen into the body, that is, they teach the immune system of the allergic person to recognize the allergen as not dangerous.

Link: ASIT therapy for allergies Link: Popular questions about ASIT Link: All articles about ASIT on the website

What allergy medications can pregnant and nursing mothers take?

Modern allergy medications can be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. At least most of them.

Allergists often prescribe the safest medications for pregnant women: cetirizine, levocetirizine, loratadine, cromolyn sodium, budesonide (inhalations and nasal sprays), topical steroids (creams and emollients).

In any case, there is nothing to worry about - the allergist will know your situation and select the necessary medications.

Previously, the list of approved drugs could be viewed here https://e-lactation.com/ru/

You can also look at the forum of nursing mothers, they check medications there using foreign reference books: https://forum.akev.info and https://drugs.com

Keep in mind that pregnant women often have symptoms that can be confused with allergies: rhinitis of pregnancy and polymorphic rash of pregnancy. Be sure to consult a doctor, do not get treatment based on the advice of Internet friends.

Treatment of hay fever, drugs

Treatment tactics for hay fever in adults and children are based on the selection of drugs according to the severity of symptomatic severity. These include:

1) A group of antihistamines that suppress the synthesis of histamine and reduce its aggressiveness. Even if there are no obvious symptoms, it is recommended to use the following during the entire period of pollination:

  • a) “Teflast” - dosage 120 mg once a day;
  • b) “Zaditet” - 1 tablet/day 14 days before flowering and one tablet twice a day during pollen release. The usual course is up to two months;
  • c) “Histaglobin” - up to 10 injections (2 ml twice a week).

2) Drugs for the treatment of hay fever with signs of allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis are prescribed in the form of nasal and eye sprays - “Acelastine” or “Levocabastine” for severe congestion of the nasal passages; drugs that relieve symptoms are prescribed - “Oxymetazoline”, “Xylometazoline” or “Naphazoline” drops.

The use of drops should not exceed a weekly course, since long-term use of these drugs can provoke drug-induced rhinitis.

3) If antihistamines fail, patients are prescribed Becotide inhalations (intratracheal and intranasal). Internal use of Triamcilone.

4) Medicines for hay fever of the steroid group such as Beclomethasone, Budesonide, Flunisolide, Fluticasone, Triamcinolone, Mometasone, Furoate have proven to be highly effective.

5) Dexamethasone eye drops are prescribed for severe conjunctivitis (2 drops every 4 hours). For discomfort in the ear - combined drops "Garazon" with a similar dosage.

The main treatment should be in the stage of weakened symptoms (remission). The most effective methods are immunotherapy, in the form of pre-season, year-round or shortened hyposensitization methods.

Diet for hay fever

allergy diet

The diet is simple - don’t eat fruits and vegetables that cause a reaction.

But before you completely abandon these foods, try boiling or frying them. Exposure to high temperatures neutralizes some protein allergens in foods. The exception is nuts. Nut proteins become more aggressive after heat treatment.

If it doesn’t help, you’ll have to give them up and decide with your doctor what to do next.

No reaction - no diet.

If you have a reaction to an apple, you need to remove only the apple, and not all the fruits and vegetables.

It happens that histamine-liberating products (which increase the release of histamine) increase the manifestations of allergies during the flowering period - in this case, a diet is also needed.

The main thing is not to follow a diet - just in case - it’s unnecessary.

What foods can you react to if you are allergic to birch?

  • new potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots;
  • fruits: apples, pears, kiwis, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, cherries, strawberries;
  • rose hip;
  • peas, beans, soybeans, peanuts;
  • olives, black olives;
  • herbs and spices: celery, asparagus, parsley, curry, anise, cumin, cinnamon;
  • honey and bee products;
  • nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds);
  • citrus fruits and their seeds;
  • Birch juice;
  • herbal remedies: birch leaves and buds, alder cones, oak bark, buckthorn bark.

Causes of hay fever

Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is caused by small pollen from wind-pollinated plants. Currently, there are about 50 species of such plants. As a rule, hay fever occurs in those people who are prone to allergies.

Plant pollen particles contain male reproductive cells. Pollen is carried to other plants for fertilization by wind or insects. The most dangerous allergen for hay fever is the pollen that is carried by the wind. During the flowering period, there is a lot of such pollen in the atmosphere. In European countries, hay fever is most often caused by grass pollen.

The season of activation of this disease occurs when pollen ripens, depending on the weather. The onset of the “hay fever season” in different countries depends on geographical conditions: in the north, pollen ripens later, in the south – earlier.

The highest concentration of pollen in the air occurs on dry days with windy weather. When the air temperature drops, pollen sinks to the ground. In calm, rainy weather, the pollen concentration is greatly reduced.

In addition, hay fever can be caused by various molds.

Various grasses, weeds, and deciduous trees are considered “dangerous” plants. The most highly allergenic is considered to be the pollen of alder, hazel, birch, ash, and oak. Herbs include foxtail, fescue, timothy, bentgrass, wormwood, quinoa, nettle, and ragweed.

Pollen monitoring

pollen monitoring

If pollen is not visible, this does not mean that it is not there. The pollen is small and light. The wind carries it over vast distances.

When there is snow in northwest Russia, trees in central Europe bloom and clouds of European pollen cover Russian cities.

We conclude that pollen monitoring is mandatory.

There are special drift monitoring sites for this: Silam, Allergotop. And sites for monitoring the well-being of allergy sufferers: Pollen Club. However, keep in mind that it is difficult to focus on the well-being of other allergy sufferers - everyone has different sensitivity to the allergen.

There is a useful application for identifying plant species - PlantNet.

Link: Detailed article on pollen monitoring

Pathogenesis

Hay fever is a type of allergy that is strictly seasonal. People who are hypersensitive react to pollen with an allergic reaction. The mucous membrane of the mouth and nose contains special receptors and immune cells, macrophages. When the mucous membrane comes into contact with pollen, the work of macrophages is activated, which can lead to the development of an allergic reaction.

Due to the fact that this type of disease is only seasonal, the risk of developing allergies exists only in the spring and summer (early autumn) period.

Hiding from pollen at home

hypoallergenic life

During an allergen bloom, your home is your castle.

Supply ventilation - breathers

Install supply ventilation with a set of filters - breathers: TION, Airnanny A7, Royal Clima Brezza, Ballu, Xiaomi.

Link: article about TION breathers Link: article about Airnanny A7 breathers

Breezers ventilate the apartment and keep pollen out.

But they do not cool the air, and in hot weather the apartment will be stuffy, so it would be good to install air conditioning.

Keep in mind that pollen penetrates very well into the apartment through normal ventilation. Therefore, it is better to seal the ventilation.

Breezers are wonderful, but they are expensive and not every apartment will have room for them.

Covering material - Spunbond

What should those who don’t have a breather do? Cover all windows with Spunbond covering material or a thick sheet for massage. Spunbond is a non-woven material familiar to summer residents. Greenhouses are covered with spunbond.

Spunbond is available in different densities: 17, 30, 40, 60 g/m2

Knowledgeable allergy sufferers advise that it is better to take a less dense one, but make more layers, for example 17 in 4 layers, 40 in 3 layers, 60 in 2 layers.

The spunbond can be secured to the mosquito net with a stapler, tape, sewn or secured with a sealing rubber band.

The covering material is not a breather, its effectiveness is much lower, but it is still better than nothing - it retains most of the pollen.

Is it possible to ventilate the apartment during flowering? It’s better not to, but if there is no other choice, ventilate in short bursts of 5 minutes every two hours. And it's better after heavy rain.

It is better to open windows between 4 and 6 am - at this time there is the least pollen in the air. Do not open windows in dry, sunny or windy weather.

Air purifiers and humidifiers

No matter how well the breathers work, pollen will still get into the apartment on clothes, shoes, skin, and hair.

To neutralize pollen indoors, you will need an air purifier or air washer.

Due to the dry air in the room, the skin and mucous membranes of the nose and bronchi will suffer. Dry mucous membranes are more susceptible to irritants and allergens.

Monitor the humidity, buy a hygrometer and place it away from the humidifier. But don’t overdo it – high humidity activates dust mites and mold. Maintain humidity level of 40-50%.

Link: article about cleaners

Hypoallergenic life

No matter how many appliances you buy, per square meter of living space, you cannot do without a broom and dustpan, a rag and a vacuum cleaner.

  • Place outer clothing in covers, bags or an insulated closet - pollen travels on clothes and shoes;
  • Be sure to change into home clothes after going outside. Outdoor clothing should be washed or steamed more often;
  • After a walk, be sure to shower with your head - pollen rolls around on your skin and hair;
  • Do not dry clothes outside or on the balcony;
  • Moisturize the nasal mucosa as often as possible;
  • Wash floors several times a day;
  • Wipe off the dust;
  • Buy a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter;
  • Keep pets and flowers away. Do not allow animals on the bed and wash them more often; their fur coat carries kilograms of allergens;
  • Do not grow seedlings at home, especially tomatoes.

Link: article about hypoallergenic living

Reasons for the development of hay fever

The main cause of allergies is a person’s increased sensitivity to plant pollen. This sensitivity of the human body can manifest itself either to one specific plant or to an entire family of grasses or trees. Fine pollen settles on the skin and mucous membranes of an allergic person, causing a negative reaction.

Genetic predisposition plays a decisive role in the occurrence of hay fever. If both parents have an allergic reaction to flowering, the risk of rhinitis in the child is 50%. And even if the parents do not have allergies, there is still a risk for the child. Hay fever appears in children due to frequent viral diseases and poor nutrition.

How to celebrate the flowering season at school

student with allergies

In spring, schools open doors and windows. Classmates on clothes will also bring a lot of pollen. So everything is individual with school. If your child reacts in class, try wearing a mask. If it doesn't help, study at home.

On the street

allergic person outdoors

It is better to walk after heavy and prolonged rain. High air humidity after light rain and before a thunderstorm provokes pollen to release allergen proteins into the atmosphere. In other words, there will be no more pollen, but there will be an increase in allergen proteins in the air. In addition, proteins are much smaller than pollen grains and more easily penetrate the body's protective barriers. Therefore, it is wiser to stay at home.

Where is it better to walk, in forest parks or along the streets? There is no definite answer; in the forest the pollen concentration is higher, but in the city it is more aggressive. In addition, the city has many other irritants for the nose and bronchi - dust, exhaust fumes and animal hair.

The worst time for walking is from 6 to 10 am and from 6 to 10 pm.

It happens that in the evening the allergy sufferer’s health worsens. The body does not react to pollen immediately, but with a delay. The longer you stay in the air, the more pollen you pick up and the stronger the subsequent reaction may be.

nasal barriers while walking . The doctor prescribed Aqua Maris Ectoin for my son (from the age of 2).

Ectoin creates a barrier (without film) on the nasal mucosa, which prevents allergen proteins from attaching to the nasal epithelium.

The nasal mucosa must be moisturized. Use saline or isotonic saline solutions. Dry nasal mucosa is like a sieve and is more sensitive to allergenic proteins and irritants.

And you need to carefully monitor your skin. When pollen gets on the skin of an allergic person, it can cause an exacerbation of skin diseases. In addition, pollen easily penetrates a damaged skin barrier, and over time it can cause an allergy.

When fallen birch catkins appear on the asphalt, and after the rain there is no pollen floating in the puddles, then the dusting season is coming to an end.

But don’t rush to rejoice—remember about the second wave of dust in the forests. Outside the city, the birch begins to dust ten days later and the pollen can be carried into the city by the winds.

Types of hay fever and their symptoms

Very often hay fever is mistaken for an acute respiratory infection, especially at the very beginning. After all, the symptoms of these diseases are almost identical to each other: lacrimation, headache, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and cough. But at the same time, a number of differences can still be identified, on the basis of which one can suspect the development of pollen allergy, i.e. hay fever.

Most often, hay fever manifests itself in the form of rhinitis and conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis and seasonal bronchial asthma are slightly less common:

— Seasonal rhinitis is characterized by profuse watery discharge from the nose, accompanied by tickling and itching in the nose, nasal congestion, and paroxysmal cough. In children, hay fever of this type can occur in combination with noise and pain in the ears.

— With seasonal conjunctivitis, swelling and redness of the mucous membrane of the eyes, lacrimation, a feeling of itching and “sand” are noted. As a rule, with true seasonal conjunctivitis, mucous discharge from the eyes, purulent discharge appears only in case of infection.

— atopic dermatitis with hay fever is manifested by rashes on open areas of the body. The disease occurs in varying degrees of severity, from minor urticaria to severe angioedema.

- asthma attacks are characteristic of seasonal bronchial asthma.

With damage to the nervous system and internal organs, hay fever can be accompanied by diseases such as vulvitis, epilepsy-like seizures, and arachnoencephalitis.

All signs of hay fever disappear as plants, shrubs and trees fade. In total, the disease lasts for 4-6 weeks, in severe cases - throughout the spring and summer period.

Masks, glasses, filters for hay fever

allergy masks

Medical masks will not save you from pollen. The most popular masks among allergy sufferers are Respro, 3M.

Pay attention to the purpose of the mask before purchasing.

The mask will help reduce the amount of medication, sometimes to zero. Just use the mask correctly and do not forget to take care of it - steam it, wash it.

But nasal filters are not so effective.

There is a separate article on masks and filters on the site

One day I came across an advertisement for Japanese pollen blockers. This is a spray that repels pollen from you like insects. Nonsense. The blocker will definitely not get rid of pollen, but it will help you get bronchospasm.

Hiding from pollen in the car

allergy sufferer in the car

  • Ask your auto repair shop to install a cabin HEPA filter, which will capture pollen and prevent it from entering the cabin.;
  • Get in and out quickly, don't open the windows;
  • If necessary, wear a mask while driving. Of course, the traffic police inspector will be interested in you, but I think this is the lesser of two evils. Well, during a pandemic, you will only be praised;
  • There are car air purifiers. For example, the ubiquitous Xiaomi or IQAir. I couldn't find any reviews about these gadgets. Among my friends, only one allergy sufferer bought one for himself. He says it doesn't help him.

    car air purifier

Treatment of hay fever

For hay fever, treatment is aimed at reducing sensitization of the body. For this purpose, antihistamines are used; if they are ineffective or in severe cases, glucocorticosteroids are prescribed. At the same time, means are used to eliminate the symptoms of the disease, both local and general. It is not recommended to use preparations that contain leaves, buds, flowers, bark and roots of various plants, shrubs and trees to treat hay fever in children.

In the acute period of hay fever, you should strictly follow a diet. Honey and cross-reacting foods must be excluded from the diet. For example, if you are allergic to cereals, cereal porridges, baked goods, and pasta are excluded as much as possible. You should not eat apples, kiwi, nuts, plums, potatoes and a number of other products if you are sensitized to pollen from alder, birch, and apple trees. Citrus fruits should not be consumed if there is a reaction to weed pollen.

In severe cases, moving to another climate zone is indicated.

Get away from hay fever

Allergy sufferer flies away

Here, too, everything is individual. It would seem that it would be easier to go to a place where birch trees have never been seen. However, there is a risk that a reaction to additional allergens will occur.

Plant proteins are very similar in structure to each other. For example, the main (major) protein in the pollen of our birch is similar to the proteins of southern plants: plane tree, hornbeam and walnut. Minor (minor) proteins of birch are similar in structure to the proteins of some grasses.

The reaction to similar proteins in plants from different regions does not appear immediately - usually after a couple of years.

It is better to discuss the trip with an allergist.

If you decide to escape, there are sites where you can see how allergy sufferers felt in this place - Pollen Club.

As allergists joke: a pig will always find dirt. Translated into Russian: if you were allergic, there will always be an allergen. Allergies need to be treated.

Symptoms of hay fever

Signs of the disease appear at the same time every year. The main symptoms are:

  • itching in the nose, ears and throat;
  • sneezing;
  • the appearance of discomfort in the eyes such as itching, lacrimation, photophobia;
  • itching in the genitals;
  • rhinitis with discharge of a fair amount of mucus;
  • increased fatigue.

sneezing
Later, the following signs begin to appear:

  • increased body temperature;
  • labored breathing;
  • the appearance of urticaria on the epidermis;
  • symptoms of cystitis.

A dry paroxysmal cough appears. With hay fever, this phenomenon is associated with irritation of the respiratory tract. When the first signs appear, you must urgently contact a specialist to avoid undesirable consequences.

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