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Some say and it’s true “Spring is in the air.” It is during this season where some conditions may worsen or increase and allergic disease is one of them.

According to WHO, an allergy is an overreaction of the body when it make contact with substances that come from outside. These substances cause an allergic reaction and are known as allergens. They can reach our body either by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact with the allergen element. The symptoms are called allergic reactions.

alergias

Spring allergies refer exclusively to pollens, although alternaria, a fungus associated with plants that currently affects 15% of the population, is becoming more relevant.

Pollen is the basic reproducing element in plants and trees. Pollen can be transported by air and breathed by the people sensitive to it, thus triggering allergic symptoms.

There may be pollen throughout the year, but in our geographical area most plants pollinate in the spring. For example, in the centre of the peninsula, grass pollen is especially strong, while in the Mediterranean area Parietaria pollen stands out, among others.

There currently are gauges that daily report the concentration of particles, pollens levels and allergenic spores.

Parietaria

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Parietaria, lichwort, Spreading Pellitory, Parietaria judaica.

This allergen, possibly the most important in the Mediterranean, causes allergies throughout the year (October to March) but mainly in spring, associated with the pollination of the plant.

The symptoms of hay fever (allergies affecting the eyes, nose and lungs) occurs most often between 15 and 30 years of age, with increasing incidence in women compared to men and higher incidence in coastal areas than in interior areas.

How to distinguish?

parietariaIt measures between 20 and 100 cm tall, it is pubescent (having many hairs), but unlike nettle they do not sting (they do not cause itching).

They can be found on walls, wall on old houses, stone walls in the countryside, or uncultivated rural and urban wastelands.

Symptoms

  • The most common symptoms affect the nose and eyes, (rhinoconjunctivitis) itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, red eyes. 80% of these people are affected by Parietaria pollen.
  • The remaining 48% have asthma symptoms, severe cough, bronchial wheezing and fatigue.

Treatment

Currently, the only specific treatment is immunotherapy, which modifies the immune response of our body.

We suggest consulting the organisations such as the ones below, where you can find information on the latest treatments:

Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology and Alergies    http://www.seaic.org/

-Catalan Allergy Society: http://www.scaic.cat/scaic/

Prevention

What can we do?

  • Wash fresh vegetables (they may have pollen grains)
  • Keep the windows closed in the house
  • Use sun glasses.
  • Travel with car windows closed.

Windy, dry and sunny days are the worst for pollen counts.

Spring is starting, flowers sprout, good weather starts, we’ll wear more colourful clothes …. But in this “altered season”, allergies also begin, which affect more than 8 million Spaniards.

Welcome Spring

Willkommen Frühling

Accueillir le printemps

Bienvenida Primavera

primavera

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