Mild winters and drier spring weather can lead to higher pollen concentrations in the air, so people with pollen allergies may experience more severe symptoms. At the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery of Semmelweis University, the number of patients has increased sharply this year due to the early and more intense allergy season. 

“From March to autumn, many people visit our clinic with general symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing fits, itchy nose, throat, eyes or ears, but this year more people are coming with more severe symptoms than earlier,” Dr. Helga Kraxner said. The assistant professor at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Semmelweis University added that due to the strong allergy season, many people have had a serious deterioration in their quality of life.

“This year, many more people have come to the university’s specialists because of severe sleep disorders, or long-lasting tiredness, or because of prolonged or recurrent conjunctivitis due to allergies,” she says. The earlier than usual onset and severity of symptoms may be due to the mild winter and the severe drought, which increases the concentration of pollen from allergenic plants in the air.

“In addition to developing effective therapy and medication, lifestyle changes can also improve the lives of allergy sufferers. That can mean frequent hair washing, changing clothes and bed linen, and using pollen-filtering mosquito nets, these can help to milder symptoms. It’s also worth using a saline nasal wash, which removes irritants and pollen from the nasal mucosa and conjunctiva of the eyes,” Dr. Helga Kraxner suggests.

Edited by: Eszer Kovács, Eszter Csatári-Földváry, translated by Rita Kónya 
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
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