Category Archives: Europe

Some pollens-even from the same plant species-respond more agressivelyy

Silver Birch (Betula pendula) male catkins, Finland.
Birch (Betula pendula) male catkins, Finland. Courtesy Miika Silfverberg. Click for info.
The European Hialine study revealed that not only are people allergic to different pollens, but some pollens, even from the same plant species, respond more agressively. The pollens of a particular species not only produce different allergens, but different numbers of proteins with potential to cause allergic reactions. This is all based on their level of maturation, as well as the time of year and the region, according to the Hialine study press release published at Technische Universität München (TUM), and reported in Science Daily May 21, 2012.

Thirteen research institutes from eleven European countries participated in the three-year Hialine study coordinated by Professor Dr Jeroen Buters of TUM’s Chair of Molecular Allergology and the Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM). The mission was to study the three main causes of hay fever in Europe, pollen of birch trees, grass, and olive plants.

Researchers found that, “the grass pollens in France were significantly more aggressive than those in Portugal.” While Birch pollens varied less, for olive pollen “…geographical distance seems to have played only a minor role: At two olive measuring stations located only 400 kilometers apart, the scientists observed that the allergen level was four times greater at one of the locations.”

See the full press release at:
Technische Universität München
Science Daily
Read more about the Hyaline study and group here:
HIALINE – Health Impacts of Airborne Allergen Information Network

European travel: asthma in Germany, France, Belgium, Amsterdam, 2010

In the summer of 2010, I traveled for one month to Munich, Chamonix, France….Normandy, Waterloo, the Ardennes in Belgium and finally, Amsterdam. I never used the precautionary prednesone that my doctor sent with me….I don’t remember using my inhaler ….not once. I told my doctor about it when I got back to the States and once again, began wheezing. I want to plan another trip for next year, but I wondered if anyone else had these breathing problems in certain cities….I will go to Europe in 2012 and I’ll stay the whole summer if I have to…..just to get into a city where I don’t have to be on medications and inhalers. The summer of 2011 in France, Italy and Ireland was absolutely horrible and I thought I would die at least twice. Does anyone else know of cities that are easy on asthmatics? – part 2 of 3 posts about asthma at home in SC and abroad -submitted by Khaki Berry in South Carolina

Asthma in France, Italy, Rome, Ireland, and England, 2011

I traveled for a month this summer. I took along the usual 7 days of prednesone just in case and the inhalers that keep me going. First two weeks, I was in southern France….Antibes and along the Mediterranean…used up my prednesone there….took the train to Florence and could hardly breathe. By the time I got to Rome and the humid heat of the summer of 2011, I was barely able to tour the city. I had gone through 4 inhalers and was on my last one. Pretty scary. Flew to Dublin, Ire. and on my second night in a Temple Bar area luxury hotel, I had the front desk call an ambulance…the ER visit was only 4-6 hours, but the doctor said he sees many, many cases of people with asthma attacks in Dublin. Flew then to Essex, England and another doctor visit at a nearby clinic. Both visits landed me more steroids and another 8 lbs. ….came home and ended up in the hospital for 6 nights in my hometown of Bluffton, SC….the worst heat ever……the summer of 2011 has not been fun and I’ve put on almost 20 lbs since May. – part 1 of 3 posts about asthma at home in SC and abroad -submitted by Khaki Berry in South Carolina

Asthma: Rome or Milan Italy, Europe, and Miami, Florida

I don’t care if a doctor says theres no better place to live with asthma because there are better places. If they are not asthmatic they will never know the feeling, the torture, the shallowness of breath we can feel. No one will understand unless they are touched by this lung disease.

But one place that i have been that i will never in my life revisit again was Milan,Italy. It was the worst place my breath was so shallow i thought how anyone could stand living here. The polution in Italy is horrible, even Rome, be prepared before you go to Europe.

My asthma feels alot better in Florida Miami south beach even though its humid it helps. But i belive our bodies are made up in so many different make-ups that we have to all find the place were we will feel the best. — Nicholas, Florida