The storms of recent weeks, with rain and snow, could favor a spring a little more explosive for allergies, although it is still early for the appearance of grasses, which bloom from March and are one of the most frequent pollens, as stated by Juan Jose Linana Santafe, president of the Valencian Association of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, who highlights that the use of a mask, which stops such direct exposure to pollen, has allowed allergy sufferers to notice fewer symptoms during the coronavirus pandemic.

CYPRESS POLLEN

At the moment it is the pollen of the cypress or of plants such as the Arizona, which usually arrive in January and February, which is the main cause of allergies, according to Liana. As he explains, allergy to pollen from cypress and Arizona, which before was hardly seen in the consultation is now the fourth in communities such as Valencia after allergy to pollen from grasses, olive trees, and Parietaria.

ALLERGY TO GRASSES

It is from March when the pollen of the grasses and the Parietaria proliferates, a typical weed of the Mediterranean area whereas in other parts of Spain, in recent weeks there have been several storms, some accompanied by snow and precipitation. This year it has indeed rained a lot and it has snowed, and the snow turns into water, and that can later favor a spring that is a little more explosive, as long as there is no frost or some other problem before they emerge. important meteorological warns the allergist. However, he clarifies that it is still a little early to be clear about the data on what spring will be like regarding allergies.

ALLERGY OR COVID?

Although coughing is a symptom of both allergy and covid-19, the Allergology specialist at the Hospital de La Ribera, in Alzira, explains that pollen allergy does not generate symptoms directly related to coronavirus such as fever malaise, diarrhea, and pain muscular tissues, in addition to the loss of the senses of smell and taste. Having these symptoms is indicating that there is an infectious process, says Liñana, who adds that an allergy causes itching of the nose eyes, throat, and bronchial tubes that translates into coughing but usually there is no fever.

As he indicates, if you only limit yourself to the cough symptom, it is difficult to differentiate, but if there is discomfort or fever, it seems something more infectious than allergic. He acknowledges that “it is also true that some patients who are affected by covid-19 do not have a fever and are practically asymptomatic, with which you have doubts. “In this sense, he explains that some allergic patient has consulted him because he had been without smell as the only symptom for a few days. If you have a lot of nasal mucus due to allergies, you can lose a little sense of smell, but it is advisable to do the diagnostic test for Covid, he clarifies.

As he explains, cough as an isolated symptom of Covid-19 is very rare, it would be in another concept of infection, with other symptoms such as fever and general malaise. He also stresses that many of the pollen-allergic patients he is examining explain to him that last spring they had a better time than other years “because of wearing a mask since they do not breathe pollen directly.

DELAY IN ATTENDANCE

The lack of assistance during the pandemic due to the closure of primary care centers or the fear of patients going to the consultation has delayed a lot of their care and may have aggravated the health status of some of them it indicates. According to Liñana, patients have not been received in Primary Care they have been attended by telephone, and many times, he acknowledges the symptoms they have cannot be interpreted well.

In specialized, he explains that at the Alzira Hospital when the pandemic began, patient schedules were cut in half so as not to crowd patients in waiting rooms and thus avoid possible infections. The work at the administrative level of prescriptions can be done electronically but not allergy tests, in which the patient must be present he points out. However, he explains that they have tried not to delay the most serious pathology such as patients with severe asthma or immunodeficiencies that require treatment although care has been delayed in pathologies such as rhinitis or urticaria.

VACCINES AGAINST CORONAVIRUS IN ALLERGY 

Everyone should be vaccinated against Covid-19 because it is the only way to stop this disease emphasizes the allergist who admits that in this sense people are confused. As he explains, people with a respiratory allergy to pollen, dust, or any animal or food allergies at the vaccination level are the same as those who are not allergic, in principle they do not have any problem or contraindication. In the case of patients who are vaccinated every month to treat their allergy, the only precaution they should take is to get the Covid-19 vaccine when it is a week apart.

The only more problematic cases are those of patients with drug allergies. The few most severe reactions that have occurred with vaccines have been in these people, but they are very sporadic and controlled he says. In this sense, he points out that before administering the coronavirus vaccine, the patient should be asked if they have an allergy to any medication or do a previous study. As he explains, as in any vaccine, the person should wait 25 to 30 minutes in the health center in case they have any problems and in the case of people with drug allergies, that wait is prolonged up to 60 minutes.