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Car drivers have allergic reactions|allergies in the car

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Car drivers have allergic reactions|allergies in the car

Allergic contact eczema can develop as a result of skin contact with seat covers, steering wheel and fittings. The typical symptom is an itchy, sometimes scaly, inflamed red skin rash. Sources of allergens in cars are, for example, plasticizers (phthalates) in plastics, such as those found in dashboards, steering wheels, shift levers and paneling. Fabric seat covers that contain dyes containing para-phenylenediamine or related chemical compounds can also cause allergic rashes. But even an upscale leather interior does not necessarily protect against allergies. Skin contact with chrome-tanned leather seats or a leather-covered steering wheel can cause eczema on the thighs or hands. Other allergens include rosin, an adhesive component, and natural rubber latex in floor mats. If a contact allergy is suspected, an allergological specialist should be consulted to clarify the cause and provide adequate treatment.

Drivers are also at high risk from hay fever. The typical symptoms such as frequent sneezing and itchy eyes severely limit the ability to drive. Pollen allergy sufferers are also not safe from the “pollen squadron” in the car, which makes its way through the ventilation into the driver’s compartment. The ventilation should therefore remain switched off during the pollen season. As an alternative, special pollen filters can be installed in the ventilation system. This reduces the pollen load in the car.

Antihistamines are recommended for hay fever symptoms. The selection of modern active substances is particularly important for motorists. In contrast to the older drugs, the new antihistamines no longer make you tired and therefore do not impair the patient’s driving behavior. In order to fight the symptoms permanently, the immune system can be made tolerant to allergens by hyposensitization (specific immunotherapy). Hyposensitization with modern standardized allergen preparations is successful in up to 90 percent of cases and allergy therapy can cure hay fever and prevent asthma.


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