How long does the pollen season last in Sweden?
The pollen season in Sweden varies greatly depending on the type of pollen you are allergic to and in which part of the country you are. Generally speaking, the pollen season extends from early spring to late summer and sometimes even early fall. Often, the pollen season is divided into three different periods based on when deciduous trees, grasses and gorse nest bloom and shed pollen.
Why am I getting symptoms?
In case of pollen allergy, the body's immune system reacts hypersensitively to proteins found in the small pollen grains. Your body perceives the proteins as harmful substances and reacts with a defense mechanism, which results in the production of defensive antibodies, mainly of the type IgE antibodies.
When you are exposed to pollen, the IgE antibodies bind to a specific cell (mast cells), which are found, among other things, in the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and respiratory tract. When the pollen grains come into contact with the IgE antibodies on the mast cells, histamine and other inflammatory substances are released as an immune reaction.
Histamine and the other substances that are released cause an inflammation in the mucous membranes of the nose and eyes as well as in the respiratory tract, which gives rise to pollen symptoms. The mechanism behind allergic reactions is very complex and involves several different cell types and chemical substances in the body's immune system. But it is overreactions in the immune system against pollen that cause the pollen symptoms in you as an allergy sufferer.
Symptoms of pollen allergy?
Pollen allergy, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, which can give rise to various symptoms of varying intensity. Whether you are allergic to tree pollen or grass pollen, symptoms are often the same. Some of the most common symptoms include the following complaints:
- Red and irritated : Pollen can irritate the eyes and cause red, itchy and watery eyes. It can be uncomfortable and affect the quality of your vision.
- Rhiny nose and stuffy nose: Pollen can cause an overreaction in the mucous membranes of the nose, resulting in a runny nose or stuffy nose.
- Nasal hypersensitivity: Pollen can make the nose hypersensitive and more susceptible to irritants. This can lead to sneezing and nasal discomfort.
- Sneezing: Sneezing is a common reaction to pollen exposure. It may be a reflex response to clear the nose of irritants.
- Fatigue: Allergic reactions and symptoms over a long period of time can make you feel very tired and exhausted. This can affect your energy level and daily functioning.
- Breathing difficulties: Problems with breathing, persistent coughing or wheezing can be experienced by some allergy sufferers for short periods when the exposure to pollen is at its greatest. In the worst case, these symptoms can also result in asthma or worsen existing asthma.
- Eczema in case of pollen allergy. It happens that people with a pollen allergy can develop eczema, which is an inflammatory skin reaction. Pollen Eczema is often characterized as redness, itching, rash or scaling on the skin.
- Follow pollen forecasts to avoid the worst peaks of high pollen levels in the air
- Keep windows and doors closed to reduce the amount of pollen that can enter your home. Feel free to use air conditioning or an air purifier with a filtration system to improve indoor air quality. Take care to air when the pollen levels are low.
- Avoid hanging clothes outdoors. Pollen sticks everywhere, try to dry laundry and bedding indoors during pollen season to avoid bringing pollen into your home.
- Wash and change your clothes after being outside. Wash your face, hands and hair to remove any pollen that may have stuck while outside. Change into clean clothes to avoid spreading pollen at home.
- Rinse the nose with saline. By rinsing your nose with saline, you help clear out pollen and thus reduce nasal congestion and runny nose.
- Do not rub your eyes! Try as much as possible not to scratch or touch your eyes. Often the rubbing leads to worse symptoms and you can also damage your eyes. A good tip might be to use sunglasses as extra protection against exposure.
- Over-the-counter medicines and allergy medicines. There are several effective over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops that can relieve your pollen symptoms. However, you should always consult a doctor or pharmacist to find the right allergy medication and dosage for your needs.
It is important to note that the symptoms can vary from person to person and can be mild to severe depending on the individual's allergy response and pollen load in the environment. In case of pronounced or severe symptoms, it is recommended to seek medical advice and treatment from a doctor or allergy specialist.
What can I do to reduce my pollen allergy?
Protecting yourself completely against pollen is both difficult and challenging because pollen is dispersed in the air and exposure is high. But there are a number of different measures that you can try yourself to minimize the symptoms and alleviate the problems with your pollen allergy. Here we go through some classic pollen tips:
Allergy tests via blood test, learn more about your allergy
By making an appointment for an allergy test via blood test, you can identify and diagnose several different allergies, including pollen allergy. There are several specific pollen allergy tests, but they all work in the same way and measure the concentration of specific antibodies, called IgE antibodies, which can be associated with an allergic reaction. Usually you start testing yourself for a wider group, such as our allergy test Pollen check. Assuming you get a test result that indicates an allergy, you can carry out a deeper investigation to find which specific type of pollen you are allergic to.