Sniffling and snorting

Currently, there are many snotty and sneezing people: “hay fever is in the air”. Hay fever is a nasty condition that especially seems to act when the weather is nice. Also in Amsterdam!

Pollen as culprit?

Hay fever is a hypersensitivity reaction to pollen of flowering trees and plants. At a hypersensitivity reaction your immune system reacts overactive. It is therefore not the pollen bothering you, but the reaction of your own immune system. The immune system regards pollen as a body foreign substance, which through the mucous membranes of nose and mouth enters the body. As a response, the immune system produces all kinds of (anti) substances such as histamine, so that the ‘ intruder ‘ is drained. Think of a big invader like you have something in your eye, then the immune system produces tears to drive the dirt out; This is a normal immune response.

At someone with hay fever the same thing happens with pollen in nose, eyes and throat. The immune system is so active that it produces antibodies; the mucous membranes become irritated. As a result, you’re going to start sniffling and sneezing, and you get irritated eyes, full frontal cavities and sinuses.

Immune system confused

It is said that hay fever is a sign that your immune system is working properly, but in fact, the immune system confuses. Because the body is so ingenious that the process in a proper working immune system unnoticed works. Hay fever can also occur at a later age and one year be worse than other years. And of course it also has to do with the weather; in dry sunny weather with a nice breeze the pollen is spread and when it rains, washed away.

Antihistamines can help

The medication that is often given is an antihistamine, which counteracts the excess of histamine. Is advisable to keep windows and doors closed and to take a shower before going to bed, so any pollen on your skin and hair are rinsed off. There are also many natural products that can give relieve.

Check out pollennieuws to know when which pollen floating around, and for more backgrounds and news about hay fever!

Photo credits: Suzette Kämink