Europe's Most Feared Allergen Returns: Ambrosia Pollen Season Begins
The season of the strongest allergen in Europe has commenced. Ambrosia is in full bloom and doctors are cautioning allergy sufferers against open windows and outdoor activities, according to Slovak news site Spravy.
This year's combination of heat and heavy rainfall has favoured the growth of ambrosia, resulting in significantly higher levels of its pollen in the air compared to previous years.
The allergen is thriving everywhere, often reaching heights of up to two meters alongside roads and standing out vividly among weeds in residential areas. Consequently, the number of people affected by this is also on the rise.
Ambrosia pollen is particularly irritating and can lead to serious health issues.
Every day, around a hundred patients suffering from ambrosia allergies call a single allergologist's clinic. This is because a single plant produces millions of pollen grains. Inhaling even a few of these grains can trigger a reaction, even in those who have never had allergies before.
Experts recommend keeping windows closed during the night from 2:00 to 6:00 a.m. when plant activity is at its highest. Air conditioners, air purifiers, and ionizers are better alternatives.
"It's important to regularly cleanse the nose, oral cavity, and eyes. Those who have already been diagnosed with allergies and prescribed medication should start taking them," advises an allergologist.
Antihistamine medications, i.e., allergy medications, can also be prescribed by a family doctor or general practitioner.
Common cold or other allergic symptoms should not be underestimated. Untreated allergies can lead to severe asthma.
The peak of the ambrosia season falls between late August and September. Allergy sufferers in the southwest may continue to suffer until the first frost.
As ambrosia is invasive, those growing it on their property are legally obliged to remove it, under threat of a €900 fine.
This year has likely been tougher for allergy sufferers. Due to a warm winter, the usual early spring allergens emerged as early as January.
The most frequent allergy symptoms include fatigue, watery or burning eyes, coughing, or difficulty in breathing. It's crucial to consult a general practitioner and then an allergologist if symptoms persist for several days.