pollen allergy

Pollinosis or pollen allergy is a disease caused by an allergic reaction to the different types of pollen present in the atmosphere, which penetrate the body through the mucous membranes exposed to the air, producing respiratory processes such as rhinitis and asthma.

In Quebec, 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?

Allergic reactions to pollen can affect various organs:

Nose: it produces inflammation, characterized by sneezing, itching, congestion, secretions and nasal obstruction.

Eyes : conjunctivitis.

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 generally manifests itself in spring and summer, when plants are in bloom and there is more pollen in the air. Similarly, the weather generally influences the symptoms of pollinosis: symptoms are minimal on rainy, cloudy or windless days, as pollen doesn't travel under these conditions, while hot, dry and windy days favor a wider distribution of pollen and, consequently, the appearance of more severe allergic symptoms.

In addition, air pollution reinforces the allergenic effect of pollen, meaning that it is more frequent in urban 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 spring, when the plant pollination process means there is more pollen in the air, it is advisable to take certain hygienic measures to avoid contact with this allergen.

1. Stay indoors.

On days when pollen levels are 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 pollen concentrations are highest. For this reason, we recommend that you reduce outdoor activities and keep the windows of your home closed during these hours.

3. In the car, do not open the windows.

Keep windows closed during car journeys.

4. Air purifiers are useful.

You can put anti-pollen filters on air conditioners, both at home and in the car, provided you change them frequently, or use an air purifier with a HEPA filter. air purifier with a HEPA filter.

5. Go out with your glasses on.

When you go out, it's advisable to wear sunglasses so that pollen doesn't come into contact with your eyes.

6. Clothes are a magnet for pollen.

Pollen grains can get stuck in your clothes. So shower and change your clothes when you get home. Avoid hanging clothes outside.

7. Don't remove pollen.

Try to avoid activities that may remove pollen particles, such as mowing the lawn, sweeping the terrace, etc. If you are allergic to grass pollen, we advise against lying on the lawn.

8. Be careful in the garden.

If you have a garden, avoid air-pollinating plants.

9. Don't let your guard down at night.

If you must spend the night outdoors, it's 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 medication, such as antihistamines, it is important that you always take those prescribed by your doctor, regularly and in the recommended dosage. Never mix them with alcohol. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.

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