Hay Fever in Spain
Allergic rhinitis, or Hay fever, as it is more commonly known is a cluster of symptoms that affect the nasal passages.
The hay fever season in Spain is particularly long and can last from January until November. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and many plants will release potentially allergic pollen throughout the year.
Tree pollen is active from January to May, whereas grass will shed its pollen from May to July and weed pollen being active from June to November.
The most virulent pollen being produced by Olive, Banana and Cypress trees, but luckily for the Valencia region, Orange trees do not seem to produce so much pollen. But living in big cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Sevilla does not mean you will escape the effects of hay fever, due to pollution also being a major cause of hay fever.
There are approximately 8 million hay fever sufferers in Spain mainly in the Central and South Eastern regions being hit the hardest.
There are two major types of hay fever. One being seasonal, with the symptoms lasting from early spring until Autumn and the other type is perennial with the symptoms lasting all year.
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes, mouth or skin
- Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion
- Fatigue (often reported due to poor quality sleep as a result of nasal obstruction)
Although hay fever is not curable it can be managed in most cases and steps that you can take to reduce the symptomology include; Keeping windows closed during the spring months to keep the pollen out, rubbing Vaseline or other creams around the nasal passage to trap pollen particles. Also, you can wear sunglasses to keep the pollen out of your eyes.
Intranasal corticosteroids are the most widely prescribed medication against hay fever by Spanish doctors and these usually come in the form of a spray that is applied directly to the nasal passage and is very effective in reducing hay fever symptoms.
Antihistamines is a medication that counters the effects of histamines, which are produced naturally by the body as a result of an allergic reaction.
These are usually prescribed in the form of pills, eyedrops or nasal sprays.
SEAIC, the Spanish Association for Allergy and Immunology recommends that hay fever sufferers consult their pollen map available in this link.
If you are a hay fever sufferer and would like to consult a doctor, you can find a list of English-speaking doctors in Spain in the ESHA Spain business directory
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