When the warm season approaches and the air is saturated with pollen, the worst time of the year begins for pollen allergists. The eyes begin to tear, and the nose runs incessantly. Some sufferers suffer from such severe nasal attacks that they are hardly able to perform their work.
The following figures show that hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is a European problem: according to reliable estimates about 15 per cent of all adults in Switzerland are affected, in Germany it is even 20 per cent.
What is the cause?
A pollen allergy is basically nothing but an exaggerated defense reaction of the body. If the pollen reaches the nasal mucosa or into the eyes, antibodies are formed. In this process, the body empties the messenger histamine, which is responsible for the annoying symptoms.
Medicines can not relieve pollen allergic patients, but they can reduce symptoms to a tolerable extent. The most sold products include nasal drops and sprays with cromoglitic acid.
These remedies must be taken approximately two weeks before the beginning of flowering, as they develop their effect only after 7 to 10 days. Cromoglitic acid prevents the formation of inflammatory agents (e.g., cytokines and leukotrienes). After application, itching or nasal bleeding may occur.
In the case of acute complaints, sprays with the active substance azelastine have proven to be effective. In Switzerland, the antihistamine has been approved since 1994; in other countries, azelastine has been used successfully for vasomotor rhinitis (a chronic watery-running or clogged nose) for more than half a century.
The spray is applied once or twice daily. The taste is perceived by most patients as bitter; for this reason, it is recommended to tilt the head forward in the application so that the spray can not be inhaled.
Homeopathy also offers treatment options
The so-called counter-sensitization is a treatment approach, with which in recent years astonishing success has been achieved. In this type of therapy the physician takes the blood from the allergic person, from which the antibodies are isolated. The treated blood is injected in increasing dosage.
By far the most effective method is the counter-sensitization according to Prof. Theurer. In contrast to school-based counter-sensitization, this treatment is performed during the phase in which the patient has the most severe symptoms.
During the polling season, nasal dips can provide relief with 0.9% saline solution. The solution cleans the plant pollen from the nose so that it can no longer cause allergic reactions. The acceptance of nasal nasal dysplasia is very different in the case of pollen allergic persons: some sufferers find it repulsive, while others often use them. There are even patients who are addicted to it.