Navigation Links
Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer

Hay fever (runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes) is caused by an allergy to pollen, and most commonly to grass pollen. These tiny grains bring misery to sufferers through spring and summer and pollen levels are often included as part of weather reports to help sufferers prepare. However new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Clinical and Translational Allergy shows that, regardless of medication and other allergies, for the same grass pollen levels, hay fever symptoms are worse in the first half of the season than later on.

Worldwide there are over 10,000 species of grass and most of these species are able to cause symptoms in people who have hay fever. The different species release their pollen sequentially so that, for a sufferer, hay fever, also called seasonal allergic rhinitis, can last for the whole three months that grasses are flowering.

Researchers from Netherlands compared daily pollen counts with daily symptoms reported by hay fever sufferers (with a positive skin test to grass pollen) living around Leiden. The people involved in the study were also tested for other common allergies including birch pollen (birch releases its pollen just before the start of the grass pollen season), house dust mites, dogs and cats. The study covered the consecutive hay fever seasons of 2007 and 2008.

Symptoms of hay fever definitely matched the concentration of pollen in the air and also the amount of medication taken. Higher medication use was seen during days with high pollen counts and severe symptoms, while less medication was taken on days with low pollen counts and milder symptom severity.

Surprisingly the symptom scores at the beginning of the season were higher than scores at the end of the season for a similar pollen count. This could not be accounted for by medication taken such as antihistamines, nor by the long term use of nasal steroids. The birch pollen season precedes grass pollen and over half of the sufferers were also allergic to birch. However the results showed that having both allergies also could not explain the differences between symptom scores in the beginning and the end of the season.

Dr Letty de Weger, from Leiden University Medical Centre, who led the research explained, "It is possible that sufferers report their symptoms as milder later in the season because they get used to their hay fever, or that the pollen from late flowering species is less allergenic than pollen from early flowering grass. However there has been other work which suggests that high exposure to grass pollen early in the season may down regulate inflammation on subsequent contact possibly via the production of allergen specific regulatory T cells."

Contact: Dr Hilary Glover
BioMed Central

Related biology news :

1. Ready for their close-up
2. Magnetic tongue ready to help produce tastier processed foods
3. Study shows that new DNA test to identify Down syndrome in pregnancy is ready for clinical use
4. Shape memory materials ready for mass production
5. Scotlands first marine reserve already producing benefits
6. New ocean acidification study shows added danger to already struggling coral reefs
7. How some plants spread their seeds: Ready, set, catapult
8. Europe ready to launch 3-D TV outperforming the competition
9. BIO-key® to Unveil Enterprise Ready Biometric Identity Platform for Smartphones at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference
10. CryoSat-2 ready for launch
11. Induced neural stem cells: Not quite ready for prime time
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/4/2015)... 2015 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - Global ... - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected to ... The market is estimated to expand at a CAGR ... 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, the ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the ... has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA ... Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United ... recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA ... his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society ... one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The ... where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model ... Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View ... years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model ...
Breaking Biology Technology: