Early Bloomers Birch and Ash - Symptoms, Treatment & Tips

Many allergy sufferers are looking forward to the start of birch and ash blossoming with a queasy feeling. The high allergy potential of the pollen is likely to dampen the joy of the imminent start of spring for some.

Esche - Birke - Hainbuche Quelle: Tibesty, Razinskii, Filchakov/Shutterstock.com - Copyright: Scientific DX GmbH, 2019

Pollen load

Depending on weather conditions, exposure to birch, ash and also hornbeam can be expected from about mid to late March. Hornbeam, a birch plant, has a rather low allergy potential, but there is often a cross-reaction with birch, alder and hazel.


Main flowering April to May
Allergen potential high
Note frequent cross-reactivity with hazel, alder and hornbeam pollen, pollen-associated food allergies (apple, celery, nuts, carrot, ...)


Main flowering March to May
Allergen potential often overlooked allergologically
Note cross-reactivity with the olive tree
Download igevia pollen calendar as PDF (in German)

The most common symptoms of birch or ash allergy.

  • Reddening of the conjunctiva
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal itching and sneezing
  • Itchy ear canals
  • Dry cough
  • Whistling breathing and shortness of breath (in asthma)

Helpful tips

4 tips for the outdoors

  • Always check the current pollen count before outdoor activities. In this way, heavily polluted areas can be avoided.
  • It is also advisable to reduce physical contact with pollen as much as possible, so wear (sunglasses) and a head covering.
  • In addition, do not change your clothes from outside in the bedroom, so that you prevent the pollen from spreading there.
  • If possible, your hair should be washed after each stay outdoors.

4 Tipps für zu Hause

  • Häufiges Staubsaugen mit einem entsprechenden Allergiefilter (HEPA) und feuchtes Wischen minimieren die Belastung zuhause.
  • In Wohngegenden mit besonders intensivem Pollenflug empfehlen sich Pollenschutzgitter an den Fenstern.
  • Gegebenenfalls können Sie diese auch an den Autofenstern anbringen.
  • Trocknen Sie Ihre Wäsche nicht im Freien

2 more helpful tips

  • In addition, to moisten the mucous membranes, it is important to drink enough water.
  • Nasal douches can also do good.

Attention cross-reaction

In a cross allergy, the body also reacts to substances that are similar in structure to the original allergy trigger. Although it can occur with a wide variety of allergies, (birch) pollen allergy sufferers are particularly often affected. If they experience symptoms as a result of eating certain foods, this is referred to as a pollen-associated food allergy. Such cross-reactions occur relatively frequently.

People who are allergic to birch pollen should be particularly careful with nuts, pome and stone fruit, celery and raw potatoes.

Symptoms of birch pollen-associated food allergy

The so-called oral allergy syndrome occurs most frequently in birch pollen-associated food allergy. The following symptoms are typical when eating the food:

  • itching in the mouth area and on the lips
  • tingling in the mouth and throat
  • scratching in the throat
  • swelling of the lip, tongue or throat


This article has been reviewed by unserem Medical-Team for accuracy of content.

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