Heuschnupfen Niesattacke
A hay fever sneeze attack
Photo: Edward Jenner / Pixels

Trees, grass and weeds can be fatal for many allergic people in their prime blooming period at the latest. Once the pollen concentration in the air is high, people with hay fever have to fight symptoms such as sneezing fits or eye irritation. A particularly strong pollen allergy can trigger allergic asthma. But how does this allergic reaction arise and what causes it?

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Pollen allergy: an overreaction of the immune system

When you breathe in, pollen from the air reaches mucous membranes and leaves behind plant protein residues. Pollen allergy sufferers are also sensitive to this protein. Your immune system classifies the substance as a threat and tries to reject the protein. The body makes antibodies that combine with histamine. Together with so-called leukotrienes (inflammatory-promoting messenger substances), this substance triggers an inflammatory reaction and is ultimately responsible for the development of allergic symptoms. This process can be observed on all mucous membranes that are exposed to pollen protein. This includes the eyes, nose, and throat.

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Noticeable complaints of reactions to the mucous membranes are redness, itching and swelling. However, pollen can also reach the bronchi and cause severe respiratory problems up to asthma attacks.

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What are the factors that can promote hay fever?

Why the immune system for those who suffer from allergies in particular The time of the main flowering It appears that such an exaggeration has not been fully explored. However, it can be said that the predisposition to allergies is genetic. Although not every baby born to parents with allergies will have an allergy, the risk of allergies increases.

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Children whose respiratory tracts are irritated in the long term by cigarette smoke or fine dust are also more likely to develop hay fever. To prevent disorders of lung development during pregnancy, which can later lead to an allergy to pollen, you must abstain from smoking.

Another possible explanation for a pollen allergy could be excessive hygiene during childhood. The alleged hygiene hypothesis states that children who come into contact with other children, dirt, and the like at an early age can have a stronger immune system. The immune system must be trained by persistent environmental influences.

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