El nĂşmero de enfermos de fiebre del heno is expected to rise to over 13 million by the end of the decade, including many more middle-aged people who are increasingly likely to be affected, say experts at leading UK institutions.
People with fiebre del heno, also known as rinitis alĂ©rgica suffer an allergic reaction to pollen, causing a range of symptoms including estornudar, nariz que moquea, picazĂłn en la nariz, picazĂłn en los ojos, la cara y la garganta que pica, low energy and lethargy.
More and more adults, particularly those aged 40-60 have been found to suffer from the alergia.
Why? One suggestion is that the planting of exotic plant species in Britain could be causing a rise in late-onset allergies. Other possible reasons for the allergy increase include climate change, new infections and a tendency to live in more sterile environments.
According to Datamonitor, there were over 12 million sufren la fiebre del heno in Britain in 2010. Of this number, a total of 2.5 million are aged between 20 y 34 but the majority of 9.5 million hayfever allergy sufferers are middle-aged.
Andrew Williams, a consultant allergy nurse at Homerton University Hospital in East London was reported in the Telegraph saying that the hospital was seeing many more middle-aged hayfever sufferers.
Beverley Adams-Groom, from the Polen Nacional y la Unidad de InvestigaciĂłn de AerobiologĂa (NPARU) at the Universidad de Worcester was reported as saying: “People are getting it [fiebre del heno] later in life and at all ages. It’s a trend that we know of but I don’t think anyone knows why.”
Many people are thought to have a genetic predisposition to suffer hayfever, but it might only be triggered later in life. Possible triggers include having a serious infection or moving to a more polluted area.
This news is in contrast to previous studies, which had suggested that fiebre del heno might actually become less virulent as sufferers age.
Some experts believe that increasing hygiene standards mean that people’s immune systems are less able to tolerate irritants, known as the hygiene hypothesis.
The changing global environment might also play a role, as plants that release more polen into the air start to grow in Britain and as trees and flowers bloom for longer in a warmer climate.