Hay fever is increasing, especially in the cities. Although the Allergy can develop within a few years, to Asthma, Sufferers and even Doctors hay fever is not serious, do not treat adequately. There are effective therapies to prevent the allergic reaction of the body.
Hay fever seems to be one of the diseases with the highest growth rates. In recent years there has been an increase of twenty times. Approximately 15 percent of adults and almost ten of the children have now an Allergy to pollen. “For this increase, several factors are responsible,” Knut Brockow, a senior physician in the Allergy Department of the clinic for dermatology and Allergology am Biederstein, Klinikum rechts der Isar, TU München.
Why pollen allergies are on the increase so significantly
On the one hand, this is the modern lifestyle, with excessive Hygiene. “We have less contact with bacteria and parasites, can turn the immune system against harmless substances we call allergens, and the symptoms cause” is called the allergist is an important risk factor.
It is known that in the city of allergies are on the increase particularly rapidly, because of the bacterial diversity is much lower than in the country. Children who grow up with many siblings, daily contact with animals and in the cowshed to stop, have a much lower risk of Allergy. Bacteria diversity protects so to speak, from allergies.
The high road means high hay fever risk
The other reasons for the increase in pollen allergies:
Due to the climate disaster, the Blühzeitenum be extended many weeks.
New allergens, such as ragweed, strain, Allergy-free in addition. The undemanding herb was introduced via aircraft from the United States, increased bases to the military, and now along the highways. Be pollen is much more aggressive than our native plants, can be particularly triggering to quickly an Allergy.
“A role is also played by the air pollution,” warns the expert. While the air in Germany is now less with large particles than in the past, but the fine dust and soot particles from cars with internal combustion engine have partially increased. Strengthen proven allergenic effect of the Pollen.
It is obvious that city dwellers are believed to be particularly at risk for pollen allergies. “Anyone who lives on a busy road, has a higher risk than in a neighborhood with little traffic”, explained the Professor.
Hay fever– first sensitized and then allergic to it
The mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, throat, and bronchi play in the development of a pollen Allergy have an important role. Pollen directed to the mucous membranes, the immune system in some people, so to speak, strengthened. Already at the first contact Vera white blood cells (lymphocytes) that attack the Pollen proteins, appropriate antibody (E-immunoglobulins, IgE) are formed, as this is actually harmless proteins pathogens. After this sensitization, the immune system reacts in case of any further contact with the corresponding Pollen: IgE antibodies are formed, on mast cells, they respond and put under the inflammation of the messenger substance histamine. This triggers a cascade of allergic symptoms during the hay fever are:
- Itching Eyes, Watering Eyes
- A runny nose
- Stuffy Nose
The skin plays a minor role, skin rash due to hay fever is extremely rare.
Hay fever is usually not treated correctly or not at all
Most of those Affected often suffer for decades and miss a correct treatment, experimenting with over-the-counter products, which are often not taken at all correct, for example, to short. Many break off, for example, the self-treatment, because the antihistamines will help. This is the case, if the pollen Allergy.
“Hay fever is simply not taken seriously enough,” noted Knut Brockow. So many patients often see no need for action, because the discomfort occur only intermittently. If it is raining or the heyday of the Allergy-triggering Plant is over, disappear the symptoms of hay fever.
However, this trivialization would not only for the patient but also for the doctor, the house doctor, which is for most the first point of contact in the case of hay fever. You underestimate the issue of pollen Allergy and forward the patient to an allergist.
The impact of hay fever on, more and more Pollen, allergies and Asthma
Not or not sufficiently treated, can hay fever are getting worse and worse. This risk was particularly acute in the years following the first Occurrence of pollen Allergy, warns the expert. So can spread the Allergy. Initially, it consists of pollen, for example against grass, birch and alder, possibly even house dust mites.
In addition, the allergic symptoms can be so severe that the person is really sick and can’t work. “Not for nothing, you spoke earlier of ‘hay fever’, because it can paralyze a right,” explains the scientist. The head is like a flu.
The danger is particularly high, however, is that on the Basis of hay fever and bronchial Asthma. Asthma is known to be chronic, not curable, and can occur throughout the year. This floor is the exchange of pollen Allergy to Asthma is possible because the mucous membrane forming the skin of the nose and lungs are a unit and together are able to respond. “Children up to six years, with the diagnosis of hay fever, have proven a three times as high risk for Asthma than others,” reports Knut Brockow.
Therapy: antihistamines are usually not a permanent solution
Hay fever should be clarified best by an allergist who can determine through Allergy testing, Pollen, the body reacts and in what strength. Then the appropriate treatment is initiated.
Self-treatment with antihistamines is usually hay fever is not a solution to the problem. Because they don’t target the cause of hay fever, the misguided immune response, but the brakes only the symptoms. “These drugs only reduce the effects of histamine in the organs, the development of the Allergy is, however, not sufficient to affect”, clarifies the expert. Therefore, antihistamines are recommended only for mild, intermittent Allergy symptoms, but not in the case of complaints, the last several days.
Cortisone nasal spray to treat hay fever
Then as a stronger therapy corticosteroid containing nasal sprays should be used. “The prescription of corticosteroids as a nasal spray for hay fever much too seldom”, writes the allergist. Many Doctors don’t know how useful the active ingredient in the case of pollen Allergy, because it influences inflammation positive.
The cortisone nasal sprays, there are also combined with antihistamines. You treat the symptoms significantly better than oral antihistamines, and are suitable for patients whose complaints are on the increase and have no first asthma symptoms (slight shortness of breath, mild cough) such as cough.
Specific immunotherapy is the cause of the Allergy
Both of these medications – corticosteroids and antihistamines treat only the symptoms. The hay fever is severe, or he is worse, and, best of all, its cause, the goal of therapy and not just a symptom treatment. Here are the specific set of immune therapies (SIT). The hyposensitization, or colloquially as a “vaccination” against hay fever, to be referred to therapy means that The immune system is slowly, with initially minimal doses of allergens used to, until the body reacts normally to the actually harmless substance. “These therapies are not, especially if the Allergy has only a trigger, such as grass pollen, is very effective, but are used much too rarely – because the Patient doesn’t know that there is this possibility, as well as the only-sufficient doctor,” explains the expert who has conducted research on these topics.
Desensitization is: the immune system learns a tolerance to Pollen
How these therapies work: a prerequisite is the identification of the causative Pollen by the appropriate Allergy tests. By far the most common triggers are grasses, birch, alder and hazel. Against you Concerned can already hyposensibili sieren. Two forms of the SIT up is now available:
Particularly well-established SCIT, “the advantage here is that the doctor carries out the treatment, and thus the cooperation of the patient is guaranteed”, emphasises Knud Brockow. In the last few years has proven, however, also SLIT more and more, and is almost as successful as the subcutaneous immune therapy. The sublingual variant is particularly suitable for patients with less time and the home treatment you want to perform.
New therapies: targeted and less side effects
In the future, the desensitization is still specific, but less side effects trigger. Some itching and swelling in the area of application, i.e. in the mouth or the injection site. Rarely, systemic allergic reactions are possible.
“That’s why you tried to change the administered allergens so that they respond less to the mast cells and therefore less Allergy symptoms out to solve, but the T-lymphocytes response, which are to produce the Allergen-tolerance,” explains the allergist in the new research approach. In the process, researchers will try, for example, only the molecular weight of individual proteins in the Pollen, can also trigger the Allergy. In the case of birch pollen, for example, Bet v 1. To do this, but still needs to be researched more.
- In addition, new formulations are tested forms of desensitization, such as a band-aid. This epicutaneous immunotherapy (pollen patch) could simplify in comparison to sublingual and subcutaneous administration of SIT.
- A particularly elegant solution could provide an additional research approach, an antibody against the Immunoglobulin IgE, the allergic Reagin. Thus, all of the IgE molecules in the body block. You can no longer attach to the cell surfaces, and thus the Allergy trigger. The anti-allergic effect would start in a point earlier than that of antihistamines.
Anti-IgE antibodies are not only against pollen Allergy, but also in the case of other allergies, which occur via this mechanism. “Currently, medication is not approved yet and is still too expensive, but if you will continue to be developed, they would be a useful therapy option,” says the expert.
Already these drugs (Omalizumab) is approved for the treatment of severe, uncontrollable allergic Asthma and Urticaria.
Conclusion: When the symptoms of hay fever more than a week, stop very pronounced, and/or cough, should, in any case, an allergist with the complaints check. Because if left untreated or not sufficiently treated, can spread the Allergy, and the patient is responding to more and more stimuli allergic. A floor change threatens, and hay fever Asthma. However, almost anyone who is currently suffering from a pollen Allergy, it can be helped. Modern therapies such as desensitization to accustom the immune system slowly and carefully to react normally to the harmless Pollen.