Pollinosis or pollen allergy is a disease caused by an allergic reaction to the different types of pollen that are present in the atmosphere. When this pollen enters the body through the mucous membranes exposed to the air, it can produce respiratory processes such as rhinitis and asthma in allergic individuals.
In Canada, pollen allergy is the most common type of allergy and is mainly caused by pollen from plants, trees, and grasses.
Who is affected?
Anyone can develop a pollen allergy, especially if they are heavily exposed to pollen.
What symptoms or reactions does it produce?
An allergic reaction to pollen can affect different organs:
Nose: It produces inflammation, characterized by sneezing, itching, congestion, secretions, and nasal obstruction.
Itchy ears. Itchy palate. Itchy throat
In 40% of cases, pollen allergy is also associated with asthma, which can affect the lungs and cause coughing, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, and wheezing.
When is pollen allergy most acute?
Pollen allergy usually occurs in the spring and summer when plants are in bloom and there is more pollen in the air. Also, the weather generally influences the symptoms of pollinosis: symptoms are minimal on rainy, cloudy, or windless days, as pollen does not travel under these conditions, while hot, dry, and windy days favour a wider distribution of pollen and, therefore, the appearance of more severe allergic symptoms.
In addition, air pollution reinforces the allergenic effect of pollen, which means that it is more frequent in urban areas than in rural areas.
10 Tips to Minimize Pollen Allergy Symptoms
Allergies cannot be cured; only their symptoms can be treated. That's why the most effective strategy is to avoid everything that causes allergies as much as possible. In this case, in the spring, when, due to the pollination process of plants, there is more pollen in the air, it is advisable to take certain hygienic measures to avoid contact with this allergen.
1. BETTER TO STAY INDOORS
On days when the concentration of pollen is highest and especially on windy days, staying indoors as much as possible will help you cope better with your allergy.
2. HOURS NOT RECOMMENDED
The intervals between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. are when the pollen concentration is the highest. For this reason, we recommend that you reduce outdoor activities and keep your home windows closed during these hours.
3. IN THE CAR, DO NOT OPEN THE WINDOWS
Keep the windows closed during car trips.
4. AIR PURIFIERS ARE HELPFUL
You can put anti-pollen filters on air conditioners, both at home and in the car, as long as you change them frequently. Alternatively, you can use an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
5. GO OUT WITH YOUR GLASSES
When you go out, it is advisable to wear sunglasses so that the pollen does not come into contact with your eyes.
6. CLOTHING IS A MAGNET FOR POLLEN
Pollen grains can get stuck in your clothes. It is therefore advisable to take a shower and change your clothes when you get home. Also, avoid hanging clothes outside.
7. DON'T DISTURB THE POLLEN
Try to avoid activities that might disturb and distribute pollen particles, such as mowing the lawn, sweeping the deck, etc. If you are allergic to grass pollen, we do not recommend lying on the lawn.
8. BE CAREFUL IN THE GARDEN
If you have a garden, avoid having air-pollinating plants.
9. DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN AT NIGHT
If you must spend the night outdoors, it is advisable not to sleep near sources of allergenic pollens, such as trees or plants.
10. CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST
If you use specific allergy medications, such as antihistamines, it is important that you always take the ones prescribed by your doctor, regularly and in the recommended dosage. You should never mix them with alcohol. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.