It's spring, the first warm air, nice weather and the middle of May... Sounds great and that's how it should be before the holidays, but suddenly you start sneezing, your eyes get red and watery, you almost can't breathe at night. So what's the point? I didn't plan it that way.
Yes, these would be the first symptoms of an allergy to mugwort pollen, birch pollen or similar. Normally - not so bad, we'll manage.
Mugwort and birch are not the only plants that can trigger an allergic reaction. There are many other factors, which we will go into later.
What is allergy?
Allergy is an abnormal, exaggerated reaction of a person's immune system upon contact with certain substances or allergens found in food, medicines, air, etc., substances that are normally harmless to other people.
Here is exactly what happens in a person with an allergy: When it comes into contact with the allergen, the body triggers an immune response by releasing an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). With each exposure, more IgE is released, which attacks the mastocytes, and they respond by releasing the messengers histamine.
Histamine is actually the messenger that causes all the symptoms of allergy: inflammation, redness, irritation, discomfort.
Who and what does it look like?
Allergy can happen to anyone. Although there may be a genetic predisposition (atopy), the environment is very important, so the earlier and more often a person is exposed to an allergen, the greater the risk of developing an allergy.
Where are the allergens and how do we come into contact with them?
Allergens are found in the outside world and are harmless to most people.
They can come into contact with the human body in several ways, as follows:
- Through air: pollen from various plants or trees (e.g. ragweed pollen (mugwort), pollen from birch flowers, oak trees, grass or weeds), dust mites, animal dander, mould spores, cigarette smoke, etc.;
- Through physical contact: Use of certain products (cream, metals, synthetic fibres, etc.), insect bite, poison, etc.;
- By ingestion: medicines, various foods (dairy products, eggs, seafood, nuts, nuts, soy, etc.).
What are the symptoms of allergy?
Symptoms vary depending on how the allergen comes into contact with the body, but also the allergen.
Below are some of the symptoms that are specific to certain allergens:
Dust and pollen
- stuffy nose and red,sneezing, difficulty breathing
- Itchy nose and eyes
- Watery eyes
- Eating, food
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Inflammation of the tongue
- Inflammation of the lips, face and throat
- Feeling of tickling in the mouth
- Stomach cramps
Insect stings (bees, wasps, spiders, scorpions, etc.)
Normally, in a person without allergy, any of these types of stings should manifest the following symptoms: a red swelling around the sting, itching, mild oedema.
In the case of allergy, the symptoms differ greatly and can even endanger the life of the person affected (anaphylactic shock):
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling of the face and mouth
- Difficulty breathing and speaking
- Dizziness or even fainting
These cases are less common and require immediate medical attention.
What treatment can be used?
Specific treatment is set up after consultation with a doctor and may include one of the following:
Generally very much concerned with inhibiting the effects of histamine by administering:
These are available over-the-counter in the form of tablets or nasal and eye drops (sprays).
The most common antihistamines to take are cetirizine and loratadine, both of which can have a good effect. The disadvantage is that they can both make you tired. Cetirizine can also be taken in the evening because of its relatively long duration of action.
Corticosteroids in the form of nasal spray
For these, it is possible to ask for a doctor's prescription depending on the dosage. However, there are also over-the-counter anti-allergic nasal sprays with mometasone, e.g. Mometahexal.
Combined antihistamines and corticosteroids
They are usually recommended by specialists for moderate to severe rhinitis. Please consult your doctor about this.
Homeopathic or anthroposophic treatments
As the subject is very large, I would like to mention only a few remedies here. For more detailed questions, please come to our pharmacy or call me.
- Euphrasia: Simple single-dose eye drops for inflammation of the eyes and irritated eyes.
- Sinapis nigra: Allergic reaction with burning, sharp nasal mucus, blocked nose and a feeling of heat in the throat.
- Arundo: especially for itching of the nose, eyes and throat
- Galphimia glauca: The homeopathic classic for allergic reactions of the skin and mucous membranes, with a feeling of pressure in the throat, lacrimation and runny nose.
- Luffa is available in the form of globules or nasal sprays and helps with difficult nasal breathing.
- Complex remedies, e.g. the DHU hay fever remedy.
Last but not least, a note on imunotherapy:
Imuntherapy (also known as desensitisation) is a long-term treatment that works by changing the immune response to contact with the allergen.
Specifically, it is administered regularly, graduated increasing amounts of allergen extract, injectable (POLLINEX Quatro), in the form of sublingual tablets, spray or drops.
For this, please contact your doctor.
As you have noticed, allergy is an abnormal reaction of the body to certain substances that we come into contact with almost every day.
At some point we all come into contact with dust, but that doesn't mean we all have allergies. It either occurs atopically (genetically) or develops when the environment we live in has a lot of dust.
For further questions please contact your doctor or us. Just give us a call.
Now I wish you a relaxing spring. Stay healthy.
Your Ingo and the team of arzneiprivat.de
Our team of authors would like to inform you with many articles and give you ideas and suggestions for solving your problems.
Just browse through our blog - we are happy to answer any questions or suggestions you may have.
We wish you all the best