Pollen allergy and hay fever

Pollen allergy and hay fever

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Even before spring, hazelnut and birch bloom. The pollen of various trees, shrubs, grasses, cereals and herbs fly until late summer. They can cause sneezing fits, itching in the eyes and skin and shortness of breath.

While numerous conventional medicines alleviate the symptoms, naturopathy tends to revise the whole organism in order to normalize the functioning of the overreacting defense system.

Symptoms affect the nose, eyes and general health

Allergies to pollen can lead to further allergies and are therefore of great importance. Almost every fourth to fifth adult suffers from hay fever. In children under the age of six, three to seven percent are affected; in the case of older children it is between seven and 13 percent, according to the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine. As with all allergies, the trend is increasing.

In Germany alone, experts estimate the number of allergy sufferers to be up to 25 million. 16 percent of Germans suffer from a pollen allergy. Known colloquially as hay fever, the "pollinosis" or "rhinitis allergica" usually goes with it

  • Swelling of the nasal mucous membranes,
  • Sneezing fits,
  • Itching in the eyes,
  • Shortness of breath and even
  • Fever, so-called “hay fever”, goes hand in hand.

Above all, the accompanying itching is felt by those affected as excruciating, in addition there is the feeling of being tired and tired. Because the nose is usually stuffy, the seasonally forced mouth breaths tend to cause dry mouth and additional infections of the upper airways. In particularly severe cases, allergy sufferers can hardly leave the apartment during the main flight time of “their” allergens. As a result of eye irritation, conjunctivitis can occur. The shift to the lower respiratory tract can also lead to an allergy asthma in pollen allergy sufferers, which can then become chronic asthma in the course of the disease.

"Cross allergies" with food can be a further consequence of hay fever. For example, people with allergies to birch pollen often experience intolerances to celery, tomatoes, hazelnuts and carrots.

Pollen flight times

In spring, the pollen count of the tree blossoms and thus also the annual hay fever season starts, whereby the exact start time and the intensity of the pollen quantity depend on climatic factors and, in some plants, on their biological rhythm. For example, the flight of birch pollen is more violent every two years. In the so-called "fattening years", statistically in the even years, birch trees form a particularly large amount of pollen. Patients with a birch pollen allergy are particularly stressed during these years.

Via the pollen flight service of the German Weather Service, people suffering from hay fever can call up information on the extent and type of pollen flight in Germany.


There are several ways to differentiate a pollen allergy from other allergies, such as those against house dust mites and food:

  • Course of the disease (anamnesis),
  • Skin test (prick test) by an allergist,
  • Blood test and
  • Provocation tests (nose and eyes).

In particular, the medical history is of particular importance for pollen allergy sufferers, since it largely limits the allergen for further diagnostic options.

Therapy options in conventional medicine

Conventional doctors advise you to stock up on symptom-relieving medication at an early stage. But neither mucous membrane swelling sprays for the nose nor anti-inflammatory drops for the eyes tackle the root of the problem.

Antihistamines are available in the pharmacy as further symptom-reducing drugs. These hay fever remedies, the majority of which are only available from pharmacies, often cause tiredness and reduce attention. However, pharmaceutical development has advanced in this area and there are now antihistamines that have fewer side effects.

As a causal treatment, many doctors now offer hyposensitization, a treatment in which the immune system receives the allergen in increasing doses as a syringe or in tablet form in order to bring about an immunological habit. So far, this treatment has lasted over three years, and short-term immunotherapy is currently offered, which is completed after six to eight weeks.

The aim of short-term immunotherapy is that the body learns in the course of the treatment that it no longer triggers the allergy by no longer producing Ig E (immunoglobulin E) but antibodies (immunoglobulins) of another class (IgG) that neutralize the allergens. However, the treatment is sometimes experienced as stressful, as it can lead to side effects such as allergic reactions and circulatory symptoms.

Everyday help for hay fever

In order to protect yourself from pollen allergy in everyday life, in addition to the symptom-relieving medication, there are also various behaviors that reduce the effects of hay fever:

  • Observe the pollen calendar and the current pollen count report.
  • regular dusting reduces pollen in the home,
  • shower before going to bed and wash your hair if possible so that the pollen doesn't get into bed,
  • Change bed linen and outerwear more often,
  • fine-meshed window grilles offer protection against pollen and allow ventilation and
  • use special allergy filter systems for vacuum cleaners, cars and air purifiers.

There are a number of home remedies for hay fever such as black cumin oil, aloe vera or manuka honey.

Naturopathic treatment options

In naturopathy, pollen allergy is generally not seen as a problem for the nose, but for the entire human organism. Accordingly, many therapeutic concepts in naturopathic practice are geared towards returning the overreactions of the immune system to an (innocuous) external stimulus in healthy immunological regulatory capacity. In addition to homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture as well as therapy with vital substances, the mode of action of autologous blood therapy, hypnosis, Bach flower remedies and intestinal rehabilitation are briefly described below.

For example, autologous blood therapy should already be carried out in winter. Blood is taken from the patient, which is either unchanged, potentiated, mixed with medication or oxygen and possibly injected again with UV light. In this way, various immune reactions should be started and a “vegetative total switching” of the organism should lead to recovery.

Therapeutic hypnosis is also suitable for favorably influencing the immune system. On the one hand, this is due to the non-specific effect of the hypnotic state of relaxation on the immune system. Secondly, allergies as intolerances also have at least psychogenic aspects that can be exposed or symbolically changed in hypnosis. It is also possible to give direct suggestions for optimal functioning of the immune system or to gradually cause desensitization (through images, presentation of smell, taste), similar to what is possible with phobias.

Bach flower therapy sees allergy as a psychological or mental intolerance expressed by the body. Hypersensitivity arises when the underlying conflict or problem is projected outwards, namely onto harmless triggers. Flower essences frequently used for allergies include Beech, Crab apple and Impatiens.

Another, often used and effective method of alternative practitioners to tackle allergies is the laboratory examination and subsequent intestinal rehabilitation. The goal is to establish a healthy intestinal flora, as this has a significant influence on the defense functions. Microbiological drugs and a special diet are combined to form a therapy that mobilizes your own self-healing powers and can modulate the immune system. (jvs, ok)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Jeanette Viñals Stein, Dr. med. Andreas Schilling


  • German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine e.V .: What is hay fever? (Access: 09.07.2019), lungenaerzte-im-netz.de
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Health and Environment (GmbH): hay fever (accessed: July 9, 2019), allergieinformationsdienst.de
  • German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI): S2k guideline (allergen) -specific immunotherapy for IgE-mediated allergic diseases, as of October 2014, detailed view of guidelines
  • Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG): Hay fever (accessed: July 9, 2019), gesundheitsinformation.de
  • German Allergy and Asthma Association: hay fever, pollen allergy (accessed: 09.07.2019), daab.de
  • Professional Association of Pediatricians e. V .: Hay fever (pollen allergy) (access: July 9, 2019), kinderaerzte-im-netz.de
  • German Pollen Information Service Foundation: Pollen Allergy - Origin and Treatment (accessed: 09.07.2019), pollenstiftung.de
  • American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Allergic Rhinitis (accessed: July 9, 2019), acaai.org
  • National Health Service UK: Hay fever (access: 09.07.2019), nhs.uk
  • Mayo Clinic: Hay fever (accessed: 09.07.2019), mayoclinic.org

ICD codes for this disease: J30ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.

Video: . एलरज. Hay Fever. Allergic rhinitis. Pollen Allergy. Hindi. Dr. Ketan Shah (September 2022).