Pollen allergy now affects 8 million people

Allergic diseases already affect 25% of the population. In children this percentage rises to 30%. Moreover, studies suggest that in 10 years they could affect half of all Spaniards. Although there are allergies that live with us all year round, the arrival of spring makes those who suffer from pollen allergy tremble, who already number 8 million people exposed to different types of allergens depending on where they live. Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and bronchial asthma are the main diseases caused by allergy, explains Dr. Alfons Malet i Casajuana, Medical Director of the Allergology Center Al-lergo Centre in Barcelona, former member of the National Commission of Allergology and member of Top Doctors®.

Types of allergies by communities: parietaria on the coast, cereals inland

In both plateaus and, in particular, in Extremadura, wild grass pollens are suffered, although these pollens can be found in almost any inland province. In Andalusia, especially Jaén, olive tree allergy is suffered, which is also present, but to a lesser extent, in Extremadura, Castilla La Mancha and Madrid. In the areas of Castilla La Mancha and Aragon we find allergies to salsola pollen (shrubs) found in arid soils. Allergy sufferers throughout the Mediterranean slope suffer from parietaria pollen (a weed of the nettle family) and in Galicia and areas of the Cantabrian slope allergy to birch pollen.

Allergies in urban areas

Allergy to other pollens is becoming increasingly relevant in urban areas. Especially in large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, allergy to the pollen of the shade plane tree, which is very common in parks and gardens, is on the increase. In residential areas, allergy to the pollen of cupressaceae (cypresses and arizonias), which are cultivated as walking trees or as hedges in gardens, increases.

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“In the first quarter of the year the pollination of cupressaceae stands out, continuing in March-April with that of the shade plane tree, then in May-June with that of grasses overlapping with a slight delay with that of the olive tree or other oleaceae such as privet in July,” adds allergist Alfons Malet i Casajuana. “Patients are usually polysensitized to two or more of these or other pollens”.

Tips for coping with and avoiding allergy

– Identify all the allergens that can affect us. – Minimize our exposure to them, avoiding gardens, parks and fields. – Drain allergenic particles from the body by frequent washing of the eyes and nose. – Drink plenty of water. – Perform deep breathing exercises in pollen-free environments to help us renew the air in our lungs.

It is important to see a medical specialist to control the diseases and reactions produced by the allergy and to have regular check-ups to detect new allergens that may affect us.

* Data from the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC).