Spring will come soon and with it longer days, higher temperatures and higher humidity, more rain. As a result, the plant world that surrounds us will awaken to flowering and reproduction, which in almost all cases involves the mediation of insects or the wind.
Thus, the air is filled with active dust particles, as well as small seeds that are spread by the wind. And this is where spring allergies appear, in a season that is a source of joy for many, torture for not a few.
According to the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC), about 8 million people in our country suffer from dust allergy, this figure is equivalent to 17% of the population.
It’s the allergies that make us cry, scare us, wheeze or block our ears, pollute not only the quality of life, but also the quality of sleep, which ultimately turns spring into a nightmare. So much so that we can quote the opening line of TS Eliot’s poem The Waste Land, which reads: “April is the cruelest month.”
But spring allergies, and therefore year-round, are a problem that does not stop growing. SEAIC estimates that this figure could rise to twelve million within a decade.
Among the reasons for this increase are climate change, which increasingly extends the flowering period in late winter and spring, as well as the disappearance of plant biodiversity, with the predominance of monocultures, which gives preference to allergenic pollen of species in the air. such as olive, cypress, pine, birch, etc.
In addition, abandoning the Mediterranean diet also affects our intestinal flora, which is the main control of autoimmune processes. The poorer the diversity and islet gut flora, the more autoimmune processes are triggered.
These include allergies, which are our defenses against foreign bodies, in this case pollen, which is responsible for 80% of springtime allergies, in addition to sensitizing another 20% of possible autoimmune processes.
According to Alicia Armentia Medina, professor of allergy at the University of Valladolid, “Thanks to the development of biotechnology, crops have been modified to contain proteins that resist pathogens (viruses, fungi, bacteria), which is a double-edged sword. They behaved like the most aggressive allergens.”
On the other hand, Ignacio Dávila González, allergist and current president of SEAIC, stated in this ConsumoClaro report that “it has been proven that, for example, some particles from combustion engines, especially diesel engines, increase the body’s reaction to dust.
Along the same lines, the SEAIC reports in a document that “dust from polluted areas produces new proteins called ‘stress proteins’ that have a greater ability to trigger allergic reactions in humans.”
Which explains the higher prevalence of allergy sufferers in big cities in rural areas, where the dust is paradoxically much higher.
That is, today there are more and more factors that cause allergies and sensitize new people who were not allergic before. However, while we can’t prevent allergies, we can reduce them with some strategies to reduce the dust load in the air we breathe.
14 Tips to Reduce Spring Allergies
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Source: El Diario