Pollen allergy: Impending shortness of breath during a thunderstorm

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Allergy sufferers should stay around 30 minutes after thunderstorms

Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall can have an extremely unpleasant effect on people with pollen allergy. "In connection with violent summer thunderstorms, increased pollen concentrations can often be determined and thus an accumulation of asthma attacks and allergic reactions that have to be treated in the hospital," warns the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine in a current press release (DGP).

During the summer, many allergy sufferers suffer more from hay fever, although according to the DGP, rain is actually a relieving blessing “because it cleans the atmosphere so that after a rain shower the air usually contains fewer pollen and particles than before.” But this does not apply immediately after a thunderstorm or heavy rain. Here, hay fever patients should stay in the house for 20 minutes to half an hour, the experts at DGP explain. Especially in people with asthma, but also in those with pollen allergies in general, the risk of acute breathing problems would increase.

Osmotic shock of the pollen grains leads to shortness of breath during thunderstorms Professor Dieter Köhler from the scientific advisory board of the DGP explained with reference to the research work of Prof. Dr. Gennaro D’Amato from the University Hospital of Naples, which effect causes the significant increase in pollen concentration in the first 20 to 30 minutes after a heavy downpour. According to Köhler, heavy rains during the pollen season lead to a so-called osmotic shock in the pollen grains. "They swell up, are carried by the rain from a greater height near the ground, burst there and release a high concentration of allergens that are whirled around by the wind and inhaled by people on the street," reports the expert. In addition, "the allergens from the broken pollen grains are much smaller than the pollen itself - and therefore more respirable."

Pollen allergy sufferers should be aware of the risk of a thunderstorm. For allergy sufferers, the thunderstorm can sometimes lead to an acute deterioration in their health. Not only in asthmatics, but "also in pollen allergy sufferers who only suffer from allergic rhinitis (runny nose), large allergen concentrations can worsen the symptoms and possibly trigger respiratory attacks," reports the DGP. Vulnerable people should be aware of the possible risks in the event of a storm and "stay in the house and close the windows when thunderstorms approach", warn the experts. If you are surprised by a thunderstorm, allergy sufferers should protect their airways by breathing in through a nose through a cloth and exhaling through the mouth without a cloth, explains Professor Köhler. So armed as soon as possible a shelter, such as a building or a car, "to wait for the storm at least half an hour - protected from the allergen-releasing rain," recommends the expert. (fp)

Also read about pollen allergy:
Hay fever alarm: Pollen allergy sufferers are now suffering
The pollen season comes with concentrated power
Protective measures against hay fever
Naturopathic medicine: ear acupuncture
Ambrosia pollen warning
Hypnotherapy: therapy in hypnosis
Treatment options for bronchial asthma

Photo credit: Stefan Heerdegen / pixelio.de

Author and source information

Video: Asthma u0026 Allergy Tip: Respiratory Allergies


  1. Hughston

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  2. Erhardt

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  3. Meztiramar

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  4. Kaemon

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  5. Takoda

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  6. Kikree

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