Home » Allergies, the symptoms of February: from breathlessness to coughing. The expert: «Growing phenomenon»

Allergies, the symptoms of February: from breathlessness to coughing. The expert: «Growing phenomenon»

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Allergies, the symptoms of February: from breathlessness to coughing.  The expert: «Growing phenomenon»

Take off the coats and go to the beach. As if it were late spring. Climate change has raised the temperature so much that it has also changed the flowering of plants. Now, if we add pollution due to exhaust fumes and lack of rain to this phenomenon, we are not surprised if seasonal allergies and asthmatics begin to feel ill.
Fine dust and temperatures that are too mild for the period are two aspects of the same coin: both impact our health. Sunny days can worsen air pollution by increasing ozone levels to which people with asthma are particularly susceptible.


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Today, allergy sufferers and asthmatics can hope for a turnaround in the climate. A truce. These should be the last days of exceptional heat with values ​​10-1 degrees above the average for the period and lots of smog. From tomorrow the thermometer could drop again, the rain return to the plains and the snow at high altitudes.
Allergies and asthma in mid-February are certainly not a negligible problem. There are 12 million Italians affected by allergies. People who from now until late October find themselves forced to deal with the most varied ailments: respiratory allergies (allergic rhinitis, wheezing, cough, bronchospasm, bronchial asthma), conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, manifestations affecting the gastrointestinal system, shock anaphylactic.

A condition that, in the future, will tend to become increasingly complex. The season will start earlier and end later, with an increase in the concentration of pollen in the atmosphere, both daily and annually. With the consequent need for health systems to take charge of the situation.
For this reason, already last autumn, the Italian Society of Allergology, Asthma and Clinical Immunology had asked that the health problem of allergies, which is too underestimated, become a priority on the political agenda.

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Allergists had pointed out how at least 6 million allergic Italians could benefit significantly from an ad hoc vaccine, i.e. from the so-called desensitizing therapy (or allergen-specific immunotherapy), consisting of administering progressively increasing doses of the allergen to which the patient is sensitized. Yet only 2% of them access the administration of this potential life-saver, also due to problems of non-reimbursability especially in the Central-Southern Regions (the expense borne by the patient is 500-600 euros per year). But even if the numbers of Italy’s allergy sufferers are notable, we are only at the beginning.


Climate change and air pollution will lead almost half of the population to suffer from some form of allergy by 2050, according to expert estimates. «The allergy phenomenon – explains Dr. Mauro Minelli, specialist in Allergology and Immunology and responsible for the South of the Italian Foundation for Personalized Medicine – appears to be growing.

Constant especially among younger people and women. A child with non-allergic parents has a 12% chance of experiencing disorders of this type; if only one parent is allergic, the probability that that child will become allergic is 20%. But if both parents are allergic, the chance of developing an allergy rises to at least 50% for that child, and even reaches 80% if both parents are allergic and symptomatic.”

But if heredity cannot be counteracted and the time to vaccinate against some spring pollen must now be postponed until after the summer, it is possible to defend oneself from respiratory allergies by reducing exposure to pollen and polluted air. Which, translated into practice, for the most serious cases means checking the pollutant detection units and, if they show values ​​above the threshold, avoiding doing physical activity outdoors. Within certain limits it seems that the use of masks can be helpful.

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Turning on the air conditioning to purify the air in your home is fine, as long as the air conditioner filters are always kept clean. It is very important to combat the formation of mold by using dehumidifiers or air conditioners. The growth of mold in humid environments, perhaps after rainy days, can irritate the respiratory tract and trigger both asthma attacks and allergies. At the beginning of the pollen season, those suffering from respiratory allergies should still schedule a consultation with the allergist for the prescription of any medicines. If you suffer from asthma, it is also a good idea to always have an inhaler with anti-asthma medications on hand.


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