It's not an impression. Pollen allergies become stronger and last longer. The main cause is climate change which, by anticipating the arrival of spring, leads to pollen production from the end of February. And it lasts well beyond the summer months, when many allergy sufferers are unprepared and often don't have the necessary medications with them. The rains, which have become increasingly violent in recent years, also play a fundamental role. These – explain the experts cited by CNN – cause pollen grains to explode, making them more irritating. Additionally, in particularly rainy years, plants grow more and produce even more pollen, which makes the situation worse.

New plants, new allergies

However, in less rainy years, plants produce less pollen, but it remains in the air longer without water droplets capable of transporting it to the ground. At the same time as the climate evolves, the spread of plants which, with the increase in average temperatures in the South, migrate to the North, exposing those who live in the affected places to new allergens previously unknown to the immune system. “With each degree of increase in temperature – he explained to Sunday 24 hours Francesca Puggioni, specialist in respiratory diseases and head of the organizational clinical section of the Humanitas Immuno Center in Rozzano as well as member of the board of directors of Siaiic, the Italian Society of Allergology, Asthma and Clinical Immunology – the flora se moves from south to north 100 kilometers. For example, we are now seeing a spread of olive trees also in the north, with the result that patients are exposed to more allergens than in the past. »

Asthma attacks

“If we look at asthmatics, attacks could be more frequent and more difficult to manage,” adds Puggioni, who clarifies. “According to ISTAT data from 2019 in Italy – continues the doctor – 500 patients died from acute asthma attacks, although it is a disease that can be treated with the administration of the inhaled drug most appropriate, either chronically or when needed. But it's not just climate that affects allergies. Other elements under study could influence the phenomenon. Among these, there is the modification of the microbiome, that is to say all the bacteria that live on our skin and in our digestive system, influenced by eating habits, physical activity and consumption of drugs.

On the cover: Alexandru Cofaru | Dreamstime.com

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