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What is the News?
Indian scientists have recommended several measures for the prevention and control of pollen allergy.
What are Pollens?
Pollen grains are male biological entities produced by higher plant cells that are essential for sexual reproduction.
Pollen themselves are immobile and dispersion is aided by agents such as water, insects, birds and wind. Hence, they are considered as aero planktons (floating in the air) surrounding human beings.
|Read more: Air pollutants & meteorological variables influence pollen concentration: study|
Pollen Allergy is considered a major public health problem that causes morbidity and subsequently affects a patient’s quality of life.
Pollen due to their large size cannot enter the thoracic regions of the respiratory tract but can affect the nasopharyngeal mucous membrane.
At the same time, the submicronic-pollen particles can act as respirable particles reaching deeper into the upper airways leading to exacerbation of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other allergic reactions
In India, about 20-30% of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis/hay fever and approximately 15% develop asthma.
What are the factors responsible for the increase in pollen allergens in the atmosphere?
There are many factors responsible for the increase of pollen allergens in the atmosphere such as:
– Climate change and increase in global surface temperature in the atmosphere have a significant impact on plant life-cycle events (photosynthesis and plant growth) and their physiological parameters (such as pollen production, morphology and pollen season)
– Magnitude and concentration of pollen is the change in meteorological conditions and geographic distribution and
– Rapid unplanned urbanization with high vehicular emissions was reported to be linked with rising incidences of pollen-induced respiratory allergies.
Indian Scientists have suggested measures like 1) developing pollen forecast systems, 2) training health care professionals, 3) personal measures like following pollen forecasts, use of face masks, spectacles, and air filters, regularly taking prescribed medications, limiting outdoor exposure, and 4) avoiding gardening or grass-cutting during peak pollen seasons.
They have also highlighted the need for dissemination of proper knowledge regarding pollen allergy, allergen avoidance, their symptoms, and management to better address the ailment.
Source: This post is based on the article “Indian scientists propose multi-sectoral strategies for the prevention and control of pollen allergy” published in PIB on 31st March 2022.