Many people choose to fight seasonal pollen allergies with pills. But despite the fact that their number is huge, the effect of such drugs is insufficient for many – they spend this time of the year in a painful struggle with their allergies. He talks about an alternative to such a treatment and why hay fever can be especially aggressive this spring. famous allergist, doctor of medical sciences, professor, head of the scientific advisory department of the State Scientific Center of the Institute of Immunology of the FMBA of Russia Lyudmila Luss:
– Pollen is one of the most common allergens. The diseases it causes are called pollinosis. The pollen itself is an accumulation of pollen grains, for each plant species it has constant specific properties – shape, size, etc. And in this sense, it is unchanged.
How ecology and allergic diseases are related
But the allergenicity (aggressiveness) of pollen can vary depending on its concentration in the air and a number of other properties. These changes can occur under the influence of many factors. These include the state of the environment, environmental degradation, climate change, unreasonable human activity (anthropogenic impact), etc. For example, diesel exhaust from vehicles facilitates the absorption (absorption) of pollen on the mucous membranes and prolongs its impact. This increases the aggressiveness and allergenicity of pollen, contributing to the increase in the severity and duration of clinical manifestations of allergy in patients with hay fever.
Likewise, the properties of pollen can be altered by emissions from industrial plants. In those regions where sewage treatment plants are not used sufficiently, they do not care about the environment, the prevalence of pollinosis and other allergic diseases is recorded higher there. Plus, these diseases are more severe and lasting. Accordingly, where the environment is better, the incidence is lower there. Therefore, solving environmental problems is the most important task for the state and regional authorities.
Allergies may be particularly aggressive this season.
Of the climatic factors affecting the severity and distribution of pollinosis, temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and atmospheric pressure are of primary importance. Global warming leads to a change in the spectrum and timing of plant dusting, which requires correction of therapeutic and preventive measures in patients with hay fever. With warming and normal humidity (in the absence of drought), more active flowering and dusting are noted. As a result, there will be more pollen in the air. Accordingly, more of it is absorbed on the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. This leads to more pronounced manifestations of allergies. Since forecasters promise us a warm spring further, and even several temperature records have just been broken, it is possible that this season there will be a lot of pollen.
Plus, warm weather encourages early flowering of many species of flora. This shifts the timing of the onset of exacerbation of pollinosis in people allergic to the pollen of such plants. Therefore, patients need to closely monitor the dusting calendar in the region where they live. For example, now in Moscow and the Moscow region trees are blooming, then there will be a period of dusting of cereals, and then – Compositae and weeds.
Why allergy pills are not the best way out
Patients with hay fever should now consult an allergist in order to receive recommendations on the prevention and treatment of their disease, in case of an exacerbation. The doctor will tell you how to reduce or eliminate contact with pollen. If possible, it is very good to change your place of residence during the dusting of those plants that cause you allergies. You need to choose a region where these plants do not bloom.
But the only effective and best treatment for pollinosis is allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT). We have been engaged in such treatment for a long time, and according to our research, the effectiveness of ASIT in patients with hay fever, even after one course of treatment, exceeds 85%. This is a very good result. But you need to understand that the indications for the appointment of ASIT, the selection of a therapeutic allergen for it, as well as the choice of timing and treatment regimen can only be determined by an allergist-immunologist. He does this strictly taking into account the individual characteristics of the patient.