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Allergy.  What to do when pollen comes to the fore?

Spring is here. With him, the hoped-for return of sunny days, an extra hour of sunshine, the mating season, but also his share of allergies. Like every year, it is also the return of very disabling symptoms such as swelling, itchy eyes, itchy throat, runny nose, hives and even breathing difficulties.

First cause of these annoying ailments: pollen. As soon as the temperatures allow it, the buds bloom and with them their share of pollination from bees, wasps and other butterflies. According to the Ministry of Health, pollen allergy would affect nearly 20% of children from the age of 9 and up to 30% of adults. Significant figures that make this problem a real public health issue.

pollen maps

To understand why some people develop reactions and others do not, we must look to the immune system. In the subjects concerned, it is a dysregulation in the face of allergens due to a deficit of antibodies or T lymphocytes, responsible for immune responses.

However, not having an identified allergy does not mean that this will never be the case, since a person who is not affected, even for years, can become one in the event of excessive or prolonged exposure. So be careful not to overexpose yourself to it.

To do this, one of the best assets remains the pollen map, well known to allergy sufferers. On the Internet, there are various, some very complete allow, thanks to the study of the air, to evaluate the emission rates of pollen according to the departments. That of the National Aerobiological Monitoring Network indicates the origin of the pollen, that is to say what types of grasses, herbaceous plants or trees they correspond to, an allergy which may be more pronounced if it is birch or poplar. Other techniques are recommended, such as not drying your clothes outdoors to prevent pollen from clinging to them.

Operation desensitization

In order to establish a diagnosis of a potential allergy, you must go through the doctor or allergist box. In the event of symptoms that are similar to a reaction to pollen, a series of blood or skin tests will then be offered. By sampling, a dose of allergen will be applied and the result will show whether there is an allergy or not. In the event of a positive result, further tests will be carried out to determine precisely what is at fault.

On the treatment side, there are drugs capable of reducing the symptoms (corticosteroids, antihistamines), but above all desensitization for certain allergies. The technique consists of injecting, over a long period, small doses of allergen to train the immune system. For some years, the treatment can also be administered by sublingual drops or tablets.


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