Berlin is witnessing the onset of pollen season with the initial signs of hazel blossom permeating the air. Matthias Werchan, spokesperson for the German Pollen Information Service Foundation, confirmed the commencement of hazel blossom in and around Berlin, noting the possibility of low to moderate pollen levels. The pollen count has remained relatively low, with sporadic occurrences noted last week. Werchan, a qualified landscape ecologist, attributed the gradual increase to milder temperatures.
The vegetation cycle in Berlin lags behind that of southwest Germany, and the current scenario contrasts with the previous season's start when spring-like temperatures prevailed as early as New Year's Eve. Werchan highlighted that the alder is not currently in bloom in the region, anticipating a widespread alder blossom to occur around the middle to end of February in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Attributed to climate change, pollen-free winter days are becoming increasingly scarce. Individuals with hay fever experience heightened sensitivity to seemingly harmless pollen, leading to symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, coughing, and fatigue. Those affected have recourse to nasal sprays, eye drops, and tablets to alleviate symptoms. Immunotherapy, involving injections or tablets (hyposensitization), addresses the root cause.
Traditionally, winter months provided a respite for individuals affected by hay fever. However, experts note a changing trend due to climate change, observing a diminishing gap between the disappearance of the last pollen from the previous season and the emergence of the first pollen of the new season.
The foundation's pollen calendar for central and eastern Germany indicates that ragweed and ragweed pollen may persist into November before hazel and alder blossoms reappear in December. Notably, the primary flowering period for various pollens is confined to February through early September.
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