Pollen flight: dangerous sneezing attacks at the wheel

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Pollen filter against sneezing attacks while driving

Hay fever can not only lead to the development of asthma in the long term, but also harbors immediate dangers. Because the acute sneezing attacks, for example, often cause motorists considerable difficulties in keeping on lane and concentrating on the traffic. People with a pollen allergy should therefore keep the windows closed when driving and replace the pollen filters for the ventilation system regularly (annually), reports the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB).

According to the DAAB, “around 16 percent of the population in Germany suffers from a pollen allergy (hay fever).” The allergic runny nose is triggered by the pollen from trees, shrubs, grasses, grains and herbs. If the pollen comes into contact with the mucous membranes, allergy sufferers will experience symptoms such as watery eyes, itchy eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and breathing difficulties. Sneezing in particular poses a risk that should not be underestimated while driving. Because the eyes are inevitably closed at short notice. Usually not longer than a second, but this can already lead to fatal situations in traffic. Because at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour, this means that those affected cover around 14 meters with no visibility. At 100 kilometers an hour, they would drive almost 30 meters almost blind. If the allergy sufferers have to sneeze several times in succession, considerable distances can quickly arise, in which they can only perceive the events in front of them to a limited extent.

A fully functional pollen filter is therefore of particular importance for allergy sufferers. However, this builds up with pollen over time and should therefore be changed at least once a year, according to the DAAB. Almost any specialist workshop can change the pollen filter. However, this may not be cheap. In the case of more expensive models, a few hundred euros come together. DAAB advises that allergy sufferers should keep their windows and any sunroofs closed while driving so that the pollen filter can perform its function. Regular cleaning of the vehicle interior in turn helps to minimize pollen pollution while driving. (fp)

Image: Grey59 / pixelio.de

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