Experts recommend that you consult in advance in order to take timely action and begin treatment, which may be effective.

There are various studies that show that climate change has caused an increase in the amount of pollen in the air and extended its season. “It gives the impression that the allergy has escalated. In addition, they were 20 days ahead of what we are usually used to, and their duration was also increased, ”says Dr. Maria de los Angeles Contreras, Immunologist at the Santa Maria Clinic.

Traditionally, August and September were the months of tree pollination; October, November and December – pastures; and December, January, February are weeds. The current picture of hay fever and seasonal allergies has changed.

He Dr. Ramon Reedy, Otolaryngologist at the Davila and Davila Vespuccio Clinic, clarifies: “In the case of respiratory allergies, there is a progressive increase. One theory is related to global warming, which leads to higher temperatures and drier and hotter environments, which increases the likelihood of allergens in the environment. Another problem that also occurs in Chile is the existence of monocultural landscapes (as happens with oriental plantain) and this is known to be very allergenic and tends to cause a higher prevalence of these diseases.”

What allergic diseases are most common in the country?

Dr. Macarena Sobarzo, Immunologist at the Ciudad del Mar Clinic explains that the most common pathologies among Chileans are respiratory allergies such as rhinitis and asthma, which are seasonal. “Among the most common allergens are dust mites, tree pollen such as the oriental banana, weeds and grasses,” he adds.

Also Dr. Jorge Yañez, specialist in bronchopulmonary diseases at Clínica Biobío, reports that in terms of breathing, nasal congestion, sneezing and itching are observed. In addition, in the presence of pathologies such as asthma, symptoms may be more if adequate control of the upper respiratory tract, in this case the nose, is not carried out.

Who suffered the most?

This type of spring and summer allergy usually occurs in 20–25% of the world’s population. Dr. Tamara Perez, Immunologist at Biobio Clinic, says there are some age groups, such as children, teenagers and young adults, who tend to be more affected. However, it is also specified that they can appear at any age.

“With respiratory allergies, there is always a genetic predisposition. The tendency to inherit the disease is much higher in parents with this disease: it is 50% when only one of them, and about 80% if both are affected, ”explains Dr. Reedy.

“On the other hand, people who work, play sports or have fun outside the home are more affected by pollen,” the expert says.

How to reduce allergy symptoms?

Although it is impossible to avoid contact with these allergens, the immunologist at the Santa Maria Clinic offers some recommendations to reduce symptoms.

  1. Contact a specialist in advance to start timely treatment.

In addition, the expert was able to determine whether the patients were candidates for immunotherapy, which is one of the most advanced interventions and provides the best results in recent times.

  1. Keep windows closed at home and in the car during the hours of greatest exposure, usually in the morning and afternoon.
  2. Change when you get home and take a shower before bed.
  3. Wear sunglasses or glasses to avoid symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.
  4. Do not hang clothes outdoors so that pollen does not stick to tissues.
  5. Use an N95 mask. During the pandemic, this was shown to help filter pollen.

What is immunotherapy?

Allergen immunotherapy is a vaccine therapy aimed at reducing symptoms in patients diagnosed with rhinitis, allergic asthma, or allergies to insect stings. It can be given by injection or orally and can change the response of patients by boosting their immune system. Dr. Macarena Sobarzo, Immunologist at the Ciudad del Mar Clinicensures that it is an effective procedure to help achieve long-term tolerance to allergens.

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