Special file on pollen allergy

Welcome to our complete dossier on air pollution, with today's focus on pollen.

When we talk about air quality, we tend to think that we are talking about pollution, and therefore mainly about

toxic gas that escapes from motor vehicles, or

motor vehicles, or the fine and not so fine particles that are present in the air.

But today we will talk about pollen, another factor that considerably influences the air quality for a large part of the French population.

You can also find more complete articles if you want to go further.

What is pollen?

During the breeding season of each plant species, plants release their pollen (male reproductive system) so that it can meet and fertilize flowers (female reproductive system).

Carried by the wind or insects, these microscopic grains are there for a reason!

Not all pollens are allergenic. However, every year, they are synonymous with allergies for 25% of French people.

If you are one of them, you probably want to know which periods to fear, and how to protect yourself from them.

We explain everything in this article.

When does the pollen allergy season start?

Peak pollen counts are highest when the days get milder.

So it's no surprise that pollen is most prevalent in the spring.

However, the "pollen season" actually extends almost all year round.

Pollen in January? This may come as a surprise, since few people suffer from allergies in winter.

This is quite normal, as not all pollens are allergenic, and the majority of French people suffer from allergies to grasses, which start pollinating in April.

From January to October, three pollen seasons follow one another, starting with tree pollination.

The tree pollen season (January - April)

Tree pollination starts in January and lasts until April.

Trees lead the way and are the ones that start producing pollen the earliest.

There are six families of trees that are particularly allergenic.

Among these families are trees that we all know such as birch, plane, beech, oak, willow, cypress ...

You can find on the website of the RNSA (National Network of Aerobiological Surveillance) maps including all information and alerts on the presence of pollen in France for each year.

For the year 2021, we observe a risk of allergy to cupressaceae pollen (such as cedar or cypress) quite high, particularly in the south of France.

In addition, the RNSA offers you the possibility to receive every week by e-mail the forecast of the allergic risk of the departments of your choice.

The grass pollen season (April - August)

Grasses are responsible for the well-known "hay fever".

50% of pollen allergies are actually a reaction to these grasses.

They are present everywhere, from the North to the South of France from April onwards. There are also three types of grass that have allergenic pollens:

- Forage grasses, which are the main constituents of grasslands.

- Cereal grasses, which are the grasses found on the sides of fields and pastures.

- Ornamental grasses, such as pampas grass, which are the grasses found in gardens or on roundabouts.

Grass pollen season: ragweed (late August - October)

The herbaceous season closes the year with a flowering beginning at the end of August until the end of October.

Although 5000 species of herbaceous plants exist, ragweed is by far the best known.

This plant, originating from South America, is considered extremely allergenic and asthmogenic (causes asthma).

Ragweed is very present in France and is also the subject of regular weed control campaigns.

If ragweed causes allergic asthma, what are the other symptoms of a pollen allergy?

How do you know if you are allergic to pollen? What are the symptoms?

Often hereditary, this reaction of our immune system is described by several symptoms.

Symptoms usually present themselves in the form of allergic rhinitis, which is the most well-known reaction.

If every year you experience a runny nose, a series of sneezes and throat irritations, you are most likely allergic to pollen.

Allergic rhinitis is also accompanied by red, itchy eyes for 50% of allergy sufferers: this is conjunctivitis.

Finally, if your allergy has not been properly treated, it can quickly take the form of asthma. The first thing you notice is