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Sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches… Pollen allergies are back

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Yasmina Kattou, edited by Laura Laplaud
8:23 a.m., January 16, 2023

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Six departments of the Grand-Est have been placed on red alert for the risk of pollen allergy, by the National Aerobiological Surveillance Network. But all of France is concerned and remains on yellow alert. An unprecedented situation for the month of January.

Do you have an itchy nose, itchy throat and eyes? It may be a cold… hay! For several days, the pollen has been spreading like wildfire in France, one consequence of the mild temperatures of this winter. Six departments of the Grand-Est have been placed on red vigilance, the highest level of alert, by the National Aerobiological Surveillance Network. The rest of the country is on yellow alert. Despite a drop in temperatures announced this week, allergy sufferers – 30% of adults in France – will still suffer.

“It’s really exceptional”

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The flowering hazel, which is responsible for your allergy at the moment, only needs five small degrees to release its allergenic pollens. A phenomenon supposed to start in mid-February but in the East, records have been recorded as described by Samuel Monnier of the national aerobiological monitoring network. “In Strasbourg, we had 3,000 hazelnut pollen counted over a week, it’s really quite exceptional that there are so many for the beginning of January.”

Steps to reduce symptoms

In the most severe cases, such high amounts of pollen can trigger asthma attacks. Certain actions make it possible to limit the symptoms, indicates Samuel Monnier, such as rinsing your hair in the evening, drying your clothes inside rather than outside, airing your home early in the morning or late in the evening, at some where pollen is less present in the air. Wearing sunglasses or a mask also helps to avoid conjunctivitis and other allergic rhinitis.

Source: Europe1

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