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Hay fever

Hay fever

Virtually everybody has heard of it before, or is personally affected: Hay fever. Actually hay fever has nothing to do with either hay or fever. There are two groups:

  • Allergic rhinitis at pollen time (from trees, grass, herb or flower pollen)
  • Allergic rhinitis due to other substances (e.g. house dust allergy)

In sensitive persons, the initial contact with an allergen (e.g. pollen or animal hair) triggers develop-ment of natural defence substances, so-called antibodies. From this time on, the organism considers the harmless substances as dangerous.

The body now reacts as if it had to fight a pathogen: upon contact, antibodies and antigen combine and cause certain immune cells to release messenger substances that spread the allergic reaction further in the body. One such messenger substance is histamine. Histamine is a biologically highly active substance which is found everywhere in our body. Everybody who has ever touched a nettle has felt the effect of histamine.

Histamine dilates the small blood vessels. This results in reddening. From the blood vessels, fluid leaks into the tissues, causing swelling. In addition, glandular activity is stimulated.

Allergens are the substances that trigger hay fever. As a first step, you should find out what substances you are allergic to and what type of hay fever it is in your case. Thus you can try to minimize the contact.

1. Hay fever during pollen time:

The most common form is allergy to grass pollen. Grass pollen allergies, tree pollen allergies and people who are allergic to both account for ¾ of all hay fever patients.

Studies have shown that during the flowering period every day a human being inhales about 4000 to 8000 (!) pollen grains. In an allergic person, however, contact with 40 to 50 pollen grains is enough to trigger symptoms.
2. Hay fever regardless of season:

In hay fever, in about 30% (!) of the cases there will occur a so-called "allergic march" after years of development. This means that the allergy spreads to the lower respiratory tract, where it can develop into asthma.


Allergy to animal hair is in general particularly violent.

The house dust mite lives in every household, even with excellent hygiene and cleanliness. It loves best to be where we, too, spend many hours – in bed. But upholstered furniture and carpets are also among its preferred whereabouts. Who suffers from symptoms especially in the morning after waking up or after taking a nap, should think of the house dust mite.

And moulds are ubiquitous in our environment – not only in rotten food but also in potting soil or in damp basements and on wet walls.

Food can cause allergic rhinitis of its own, or in conjunction with pollen. This is known as a "cross reaction".
An example: persons who are allergic to early flowering trees often do not tolerate apples, pears, cherries and peaches either (stone fruit or pome). People allergic to grass pollen often tolerate no legumes, carrots or celery. Sometimes these patients tolerate these foods well outside "their" pollen season.

The number of triggering substances may increase over the years. Then the annoying hay fever that lasts a few weeks a year can turn into a year-round permanent condition!

Pollen load table as PDF

For people with a strong allergy to pollen, at the time of the highest pollen count an "escape" to less heavily loaded areas may also be expedient. Suitable areas are such where the plant to whose pollen you are allergic is not found. Thus, for example, people with allergies usually feel fine in the Canary Islands, because there the vegetation is different from ours and the maritime climate is generally perceived as pleasant by allergy sufferers.
If you do not want to travel that far, you should consider the North Sea or the Baltic Sea as a vacation destination. Farm holidays, by contrast, are less recommendable for people with allergies because of the additional burden of allergy-causing substances.

Who wants to avoid pollen in our regions as far as possible, should take some advice serious:

To avoid too violent confrontation between allergic persons and their tormentors, an allergy test can clarify which allergen causes discomfort in the first place. For this, various tests are performed at the allergologist's. The most common test at a private practitioner's is the "prick test" in which the allergen is introduced into the skin by means of a lancet. The allergic reaction is indicated by formation of a wheal whose dimensions are compared to those of the negative control. Similar procedures are used in the "scratch test" and the "intradermal test" where the antigens are administered either by scoring the skin or by injection under the skin. Moreover, it is possible to detect specific IgE antibodies in the serum (RAST).

The constantly irritated nasal mucosa is particularly susceptible to infection. The frequent infections can eventually spread to the sinuses or the middle ear. Chronic headaches, hearing loss, and a gen-eral weakening of the immune system may be the result.
A rational treatment of allergies must be accompanied by therapy of the intestinal mucosa and its associated immune system. Thus the causes due to which the disease has arisen can be addressed. Hidden food allergies existing for a long time manifest sooner or later e.g. as hay fever (allergic rhinitis), allergic asthma or atopic dermatitis. This expansion of allergy, begun in the intestine, can occur because all skin and mucosal areas are connected via the mucosa-associated immune system. There is the so-called "allergic march" of the disease.
Allergic diseases can be improved via therapy of the mucous membranes with Synerga®!

Laves-Arzneimittel GmbH
Barbarastr. 14 | D-30952 Ronnenberg | Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 511 438 740 | Fax: +49 (0) 511 438 74 44 |

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