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Allergic Rhinitis

What is the mechanism of an allergic reaction?

Histamine is a substance produced by the body as part of its defence mechanisms. It is stored in cells called mast cells, in almost all tissues of the body. When the body reacts to a foreign substance (known as an allergen, e.g. flower pollen), the mast cells stimulated by the allergen release their stores of histamine.

The released histamine then binds to its receptors (H1 receptors), causing a chain reaction that results in allergic symptoms. It causes an increase in blood flow to the area of the allergy, and the release of other chemicals that add to the allergic response. This results in the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

In allergic rhinitis, histamine causes inflammation of the nose and eyes and results in itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

Antihistamines works by blocking histamine H1 receptors but it does not prevent the actual release of histamine from mast cells, but prevents it binding to its receptors. This in turn prevents the release of other allergy chemicals and reduces the blood supply to the area, providing relief from the typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Antihistamines can also be used to relieve the symptoms of an allergic skin rash called urticaria. This is an itchy rash with hives, also known as nettle rash. Blocking the actions of histamine relieves the itching and reduces the rash associated with this condition.
 


Pollen allergy:

Birch pollen, one of the most common causes of hay fever in Britain. Birch trees release their pollen between March and May, and hay fever sufferers are likely to experience the worst symptoms during April:

www.telegraph.co.uk


Pollen Calendar

No blossoming

Pre-blossoming

Middle blossoming

Main blossoming

Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Acacia, black No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Alder, common Pre Pre Mid Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Alfalfa, lucerne No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Amaranth, coarse-haired No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Ash, common No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Barley No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Beech, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Bermuda grass No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Birch, weeping No blossoming No blossoming Pre Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Blue grass, Kentucky No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main Pre Pre Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Chestnut, sweet No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Cob, hazel Pre Mid Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid
Cocksfoot No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Mid Pre No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Common bent No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Couch grass No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Creeping bent No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Cypress, Italian No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Daisy, moon No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming
Dandelion No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Dock, curly, sorrel, garden, sheep’s No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Mid Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Elder, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Elm, Scotch No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
False oat grass No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Mid Pre Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Geranium, bedding No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming
Golden wattle, Sydney No blossoming No blossoming Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Goose-foot No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Mid Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming
Hornbeam, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Hyacinth No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Johnson grass (Sudan grass) No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Lent lily No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Lilac, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Pre No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Meadow fescue No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Pre Main Main Main Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Meadow foxtail No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Nettle, stinging No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Pre Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Oak, English No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Pre No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Oats, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Olive No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Orach No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming
Parietaria No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Pellitory of the wall No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming
Pine, black, Scots and Eastern white No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Mid Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Plane, oriental No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Plantain, English No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Main Mid Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Poplar, white No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Primrose No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Privet, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Pussywillow No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Rape, oilseed No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main Pre No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Red Fescue No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Rose, Japanese No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Rye-grass No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Main Main Main Main Pre No blossoming No blossoming
Ryegrass, perennial No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main Pre No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Sabine No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Spruce, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Sweet mock orange No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Main Mid Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Timothy No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Pre Pre Main Main Main Mid No blossoming No blossoming
Vernal grass, scented No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Main Main Main Pre Pre No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Wheat, common No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Wild rye No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
Yorkshire fog No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming Mid Mid Main Main Main No blossoming No blossoming No blossoming
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