Pollen allergies in Toulouse: the Pink City is in the red

Home Pollen allergies in Toulouse: the Pink City is in the red
Written by Doug Hampton

the essential
Grass dust combined with the Autan wind always forms an explosive cocktail. And more and more of us are suffering from hay fever. Toulouse is in the red.

Red eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat… You must know these inconveniences, which regularly occur every spring when the flowering of plants and trees is at its peak. Or you are one of the rare specimen of city dwellers who does not know what an allergy is. This year again, Toulouse is in the red on the pollen alert bulletins. The Pink City is even among the most irritated or irritating metropolises. It depends.

Pollution doesn’t help

“Pollenic rhinitis is more and more frequent, confirms Professor Alain Didier, pulmonologist and allergist at Larrey Hospital. The pollen load in the air is very high in Toulouse, particularly because of grasses and plane trees. There are a lot of them and the season is getting longer and longer, from the end of April to July, sometimes longer”. As a bonus, the Autan wind, the one that drives you a little crazy, is an aggravating factor by dispersing the allergenic particles or even lifting them from the ground to lift them into the atmosphere. “The urban meadows which are no longer mowed are also large breeding grounds for pollen, slips Professor Viguier and if we come out of a cold period with sudden heat and wind, we have the ideal conditions”. Not to mention the pollution with microparticles or nitrogen dioxide which adds a layer. “In contact with pollutants, the pollen degrades, fragments and becomes smaller, explains the pulmonologist, and they infiltrate more easily through the airways”.
In short, we are surrounded and the situation is all the more worrying as more and more people are becoming allergic over the years. Whose fault, what fault? “We have genetics equipped to resist allergies, continues Alain Didier, and in an allergenic and polluted environment, our immune system is stimulated. He defends himself and the symptoms appear.

A more responsive immune system

For the practitioner, it is not so much allergies that are on the rise, but their expression in the population. “It’s the theory of hygiene,” he says. Since we are less busy fighting other infectious agents, the body tends to react more quickly to attacks from the environment. This is especially noticeable in children. There remains the unpleasant impression of not getting out of it and suffering from allergies every spring without real solutions. But Professor Alain Didier is formal, we can win the match. “When you know yourself well, there are drugs that can make the inflammation go away,” he says. But they must be taken early as a preventive measure and throughout the season. The difficulty is that the allergy fluctuates depending on the day and you stop taking the treatment when the signs disappear and you are better. What you should not do”. As a last resort, desensitization is an effective weapon. “It is first of all a question of clearly identifying which substance we are reactive to, warns the pulmonologist. Doing an allergological check-up is worth it, to immunize yourself four months a year”. And put an end to the drop in the nose!

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