Wednesday, February 21

What it will be like in Extremadura this spring for allergy sufferers

A woman shows symptom of spring allergy. / TODAY

Although it will be mild or moderate in almost the entire country, the Extremadura region will be the only one with ‘intense’ values

Spring is a season of the year that causes many problems for allergy sufferers. Conjunctivitis, rhinitis, as well as itchy nose, throat and palate, are just some of the symptoms shown by those who suffer from it. However, its intensity varies greatly from one year to another. How will it be in Extremadura this spring for allergy sufferers?

Specifically, the Aerobiology Committee of the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) anticipates that spring will be very intense in both Cáceres and Badajoz, which will make Extremadura the only region that is at this level. In fact, Ángel Moral, president of this organization, estimates that except in the Extremadura community, spring will be milder for people allergic to grasses thanks to the lack of rain that has been recorded during the winter.

Thus, it is expected to be “very mild” in the Canary Islands and Almería; «mild» in Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia, Navarra, the Basque Country, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Murcia, Aragón, Castilla-León, Castilla-La Mancha (except Toledo), Cádiz, Granada, Huelva, Málaga; “moderate” in Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba, Jaén and Seville; and “intense” in Badajoz and Cáceres, where 5,000 grains/m3 will be reached.

“Spring in the center of the peninsula will be variable, ranging between 1,000 grains/m3 in Teruel and Cuenca and 4,000 grains/m3 in Toledo of grass pollens. Spring for those allergic to grass pollens in Aragón, Castilla-León and Castilla-La Mancha will be mild. For its part, in Madrid and Toledo spring for allergy sufferers will be moderate. In addition, in Madrid capital the percentage of patients allergic to shade banana pollen, which is beginning these days, exceeds 40 percent of pollen”, Moral has emphasized.

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Pollen-related allergic diseases affect some 4.5 to 5 million people in Spain, seven of whom are allergic to grasses, followed in decreasing order by allergies to olive trees, arizonica, shade banana, salsola and parietaria.

In the center of the peninsula, the most frequent pollens are those of grasses, olive trees and arizonica. In this sense, from the SEAIC they remember that there is a direct relationship between some climatological factors of autumn and winter, such as rain, temperature and humidity and the counts of grass pollens during spring.

Therefore, climate change and pollution is causing an increase in people with allergies. “Pollution and climate change influence people because they alter their defenses and interact with allergens, modifying the amount of allergen in each plant”, detailed Dr. Antonio Valero, to highlight that the use of masks , due to the covid-19 pandemic, has reduced allergic symptoms and even the use of medication.

Faced with this scenario, the SEAIC Aerobiology Committee, together with the climatological factors provided by the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) and with the collaboration of the Department of Statistics and Operations Research of the University of Castilla La Mancha, has made a compilation of data from the 62 aerobiological stations in which the intensity level for this spring is established for allergic patients in the different geographical areas.

Thus, they have predicted that this year, due to the lack of rain in autumn and winter, spring is expected to have lower levels of grass pollens than usual, which will contribute to a decrease in symptoms. allergies in patients.

That said, the expert explained that in the short term the rain moistens the pollens that are floating in the atmosphere, increasing their weight and favoring their deposit on the ground, preventing them from penetrating the respiratory tract, which reduces the symptoms of patients allergic when it’s raining.

However, in the long term, rainfall favors the growth of all plants, especially grasses, which contributes to greater development and an increase in the production of grass pollens which, at the time of flowering, will be dispersed by the atmosphere, and as a consequence, allergy sufferers will experience an increase in their symptoms.


Finally, the member of the Board of Directors of the SEAIC, Pedro Ojeda, highlighted the figure of the allergist, commenting that Spain is one of the few countries in the European Union and in the world in which allergology is considered a specialty, if He has well warned of the lack of specialists in public health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends one allergist for every 50,000 inhabitants, although Spain, with more than 46 million inhabitants, would need at least 920 specialists to guarantee proper care, although it has less than 800 allergists.

Thus, there are several autonomous communities that have a lower number of allergists than recommended. The most obvious case is that of the Balearic Islands, which currently does not offer an allergology service in its public health system.

“Inevitably, allergy is undertreated and underdiagnosed, resulting in an unsustainable cost for citizens in terms of quality of life, but also in terms of loss of productivity and excessive use of hospital emergency services,” he added. the president of SEAIC.

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