Hay fever – Pollen Bomb and Pollen Radar

Spring is a wonderful season and just about everyone looks forward to it after winter, except those who suffer from hay fever. It is an unpleasant condition that affects one in seventeen Dutch people. When the pollen comes loose, they stuff the handkerchiefs. Sometimes a hay fever season can become very unpleasant if there is a pollen bomb due to the delayed spring. What is special about hay fever is that it is not caused by hay.

Allergies during hay season

  • Spring fever and hay fever
  • How does hay fever work?
  • Pollen allergy
  • Pollen radar
  • Anti-substances
  • Tips
  • Pollen bomb
  • Pollen calendar


Spring fever and hay fever

The pollen from trees, plants and crops is released into the air in the spring. They drift on the wind through the country. The journey of the pollen is a necessary one on the way to fertilization. Pollen is the pollen produced by all types of seed plants. The wind pollinators use the wind to atomize their pollen. We sometimes find it on the car or window: a thin layer of dust. Necessary for the survival of the species, difficult for people with hay fever.


Hay fever does not come from hay. The name of the condition refers to the time when most allergies occur, the hay season. Most hay is collected in July.

How does hay fever work?

After the pollen has been inhaled, the body recognizes the pollen as a hostile invader. Defense cells in the body produce histamine to expel the invader. The defense cells are called mast cells or mastocytes. They are part of the immune system. The mast cells are in contact with the air. It is the histamine that irritates allergy-sensitive tissue: nose, eyes and respiratory tract.

Pollen allergy

Pollen allergy is a difficult condition for which no cure has yet been found. People with hay fever can consult the special pollen radar and then take their measures, but more than relieving the complaints is not possible. Hay fever sufferers who take measures in time can largely avoid coughing and sneezing. Weather conditions play a major role in the extent to which people suffer from hay fever. Of interest:

  • wind force;
  • Wind direction;
  • precipitation;
  • temperature.


Pollen radar

The Netherlands has hay fever radars and hay fever weather reports. The expected location and extent of pollen in the air is indicated with symbols and colors. Dutch people who are not yet sniffling can avoid those places as much as possible. The pollen forecast for the coming days is also indicated, so that the hay fever patient can take measures. Hay fever forecasts can be followed on Twitter and iGoogle, among others .


People who have a pollen allergy produce antibodies against pollen in their nose and eyes. To prevent or reduce the complaints you can:

  • wearing sunglasses on hay fever days;
  • rub your eyes as little as possible;
  • wash your hands more often;
  • rubbing some Vaseline around the eyes;
  • placing a wet washcloth on your eyes;
  • using a nasal spray;
  • follow immunotherapy;
  • going outside in the early morning or late evening;
  • seek out the mountains or the sea;
  • protect yourself against hay fever.



Hay fever cannot yet be cured, but there is a lot that can be done to prevent hay fever as much as possible or to reduce an attack:

  • Keep an eye on the hay fever forecast;
  • protect your eyes against pollen penetration;
  • keep your bedroom as pollen-free as possible by:
    • washing and brushing the pollen from your hair;
    • wash your clothes if you have come into contact with pollen;
    • to shower before going to sleep;
    • vacuum your bedroom pollen-free;
    • selectively opening the bedroom window;
    • wash the bedding more often.
  • keep the windows closed as much as possible during the hay fever season;
  • place anti-pollen screens in front of the windows that you still want to open;
  • open windows early in the morning or late at night or after a rain shower;
  • what applies to the house also applies to the car;
  • avoid irritating substances such as cigarette smoke, paint and house dust.
  • avoid using during the hay fever season;
    • chlorine;
    • ammonia;
    • perfume;
    • hairspray;
    • exhaust gases;
    • strongly scented plants.
  • be careful what you put in your garden: do not place plants or trees that are known to produce pollen, such as birches.


Pollen bomb

Whether there is a lot or less pollen in the air depends on the weather. A long winter and delayed spring, for example, can detonate a pollen bomb. Under those conditions, plants and trees release their pollen at the same time as the temperature rises. After the prolonged cold they are, as it were, ready to burst. The birches are a good example of this. That tree actually supplies the pollen that many people are allergic to. Before the birch pollen is in the air, the pollen of hazel and alder are already floating on the wind. Drought in the first months of the year can also cause the pollen to float longer. Every plant and every tree releases the pollen at its own time, but the cold causes the release period to be postponed. Allergologists predict a lot of hay fever for years with delayed spring. In such a year, many people start sniffling and sneezing and a large group ends up in a long period of general malaise. School and work performance can suffer and it can take up to six months before it is over. Fortunately, there is not a delayed spring every year and people who are sensitive to it do not suffer from a pollen bomb every year.

Pollen calendar

  • Hazel – January to end of March
  • Alder – January to early April
  • Poplar – mid-February to late May
  • Willow – mid-February to mid-May
  • Elm – mid-February to early May
  • Birch – March to mid-May
  • Es – March to mid-May
  • Oak – April to mid-May
  • Plane tree – April to end of May
  • Beech – early April to early June
  • Chestnut – late April to early August
  • Grasses – late April to late September
  • Sorrel – May to end of July
  • Plantain – May to early September
  • Nettles – late May to late September
  • Linden – June to mid-August
  • Goosefoot – June to early September
  • Goldenrod – early June to mid-September
  • Mugwort – late uni to mid-September


read more

  • Crocuses – crocus and saffron
  • Elderberry – elder, butterfly, butterfly and elderberry
  • Lapwing flower – imperial crown, gnomes dice cup
  • Snowdrops or Galanthus – Bulbous plant from the daffodil family
  • Hay fever plant ragweed is on the rise
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