Have you ever seen Japanese people wearing a mask despite it is not winter?
That should be because of hay fever.
Despite not having hay fever in your country, you might suffer from pollen in Japan.
There are many voices saying “I didn’t do this in my home country!”
Please be careful on hay fever when you visit Japan.
Seasons and Symptoms of Hay Fever
If you ignore the type, it is the season of hay fever all year round in Japan.
But it is said that season of cedar pollen and cypress pollen is middle of February to July.
3 major symptoms of hay fever are sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose.
But these symptoms are hard to judge if it is rhinitis caused by dust or cold.
If you misunderstand and endure using cold medicine, it might make your symptoms worse.
Then, how can we judge?
The easy way to judge is the number of sneezing and eye symptoms.
If you sneezing more than 7 times at a time, it should be hay fever.
The other feature is feeling itchy on your eyes.
Eyes would become red and tears come out.
If you rub your eyes at this time, it often hurts your eyes.
So please be careful.
What Causes Hay Fever
Simptons that caused by pollen is called hay fever.
So why does pollen cause sneezing etc?
Here is the mechanism.
1. When pollen enters the nose or throat, white blood cells(especially lymphocytes) judge it as a alien substance.
2. In order to eliminate pollen, lymphocytes make antibody (IgE antibody) on the surface of mast cells.
3. When pollen comes in again, antibodies react and chemicals such as histamine are secreted from mast cells and so on.
4. Histamine cause sneezing and runny nose and try to drive out the pollen. It also causes stuffy noses and prevents pollen from getting inside.
So any symptoms of hay fever are caused to protect and fight off pollen.
The more pollen enter your body, the worse you suffer from hay fever.
Measures for Fay Fever
Basically, preventing or reducing symptoms of hay fever is how to reduce pollen entering your body.
When You Go Outside
As a measures for hay fever, wearing a mask when you go out is effective.
It prevents pollen to enter your body, especially during the season when pollen flies a lot.
Washing your face and mouth after you return can be also good way for hay fever.
Pollen may sometimes cause rough skin.
So it is important to wash your face.
Take Medicines Early
In many people with hay fever, even if only a small amount of pollen enter your body, the body responds sensitively.
By starting to drink before the season, you can prevent the mucous membrane from becoming hypersensitive, so you can delay the onset or make symptom mild.
If you have severe hay fever, I recommend that you take medicine early.
Or if you don’t have hay fever in your country, you should take medicine early.
History of Cedar Pollinosis in Japan
I’m not sure if you are interested in the history of cedar pollinosis in Japan.
But! Let me introduce.
May of Japanese suffer from cedar pollen.
Cedar pollinosis was discovered in 1964 at the first Tokyo Olympics.
So it is not so long ago.
Japan Has Many Cedars
After the war, a lot of wood was needed to rebuild the burnt city.
Therefore, as a national policy, cedar trees were planted in various places.
About 40% of Japan’s forests are artificial forests, and 43% of which are cedar forests.
Namely, about 20% of forest of Japan consist of cedar.
However, hay fever was not present at that time even though a large amount of cedar was planted.
Why Hay Fever Was Not Present
In fact, cedar pollen starts scattering from about 30 years of age.
Japan was in a period of high economic growth when the cedar trees planted after the war were cut off.
However, because cheap overseas timber began to come into Japan, the price of domestic cedar fell.
As the demand for cedar decreased, the number of cedar forests that had been abandoned increased.
As a result, cedar trees older than 30 years of age began to disperse pollen.
Although there were no hay fever at last Tokyo Olympics, hay fever exactly present next coming Tokyo olympics.
However, we can prevent or lighten the symptoms of hay fever.
Hope foreigners would not suffer on hay fever next Tokyo Olympics.