With exessive urbanization, climate change and global warming, pollen allergies are on the rise
Sneezing, running nose, watering of eyes, all these are symptoms of allergies
If you have a pollen allergy, this is more common when you are outside.
Pollen allergies, also called as hay fever, are fairly common in cold countries due to birch and pine tree pollens. However, this is not restricted to cold countries. Pollen is a major cause of allergy in warm climates too!
standard blood tests test for European pollen such as birch, oak, maple, etc. However, these plants are not found in the tropics!
why is pollen allergy common in the tropics ?
- Tree, grass and weed pollen native to tropical climates cause a lot of allergies
- Pollen from ornamental flowers is carried by insects and is heavy so it does not blow around. As per common belief, roses or other similar flowers do not cause allergies.
- flowers of grass and weeds are small and their pollen is extremely tiny. This pollen is very light and it gets blown in the wind for hundreds of kilometers
- Even if you don’t have trees nearby, this pollen gets blown around and mixes with the dust in the house. That is why pollen allergy is common in cities too.
- Early morning and late evening pollen is more concentrated in the atmosphere. So it is advisable not to go for jogging or walks at that time.
Which plants cause pollen allergy in tropics?
Parthenium or congress grass: This pollen is present throughout the year. It is an invasive species imported with cheap quality wheat from western countries.
Cynodon or bermuda grass: This is commonly used as lawn grass. It is important as it is offered to Lord Ganesha. Known as Durva or Doob grass locally
Ricinus communis: Castor oil tree. This tree commonly grows at the edge of canals and vacant lot
Carica Papaya: Papaya tree. This tree too grows next to vacant lots. It has increased popularity as its leaves are believed to cure Dengue fever
Prosopis or Mesquite : This tree is found in open grasslands
Samania Saman or raintree : This is a fairly common tree in Urban areas
Neem tree or Azadirachta Indica : A local holy tree
Amaranthus and Chenopodium: weeds
How to deal with pollen allergies?
- Encourage planting more plants known to have hypoallergenic pollen
- The best thing to be done is to avoid contact with pollen
- Keep your doors and windows closed early morning and late evening. Do not go for a walk or outdoor activities then
- Wear a mask
- wear full sleeves and covered clothes. On returning home take a shower and put your clothes to wash
- drying clothes outdoor can lead to pollen deposition on them
How to treat allergies?
If you have symptoms, consult your doctor. medication and sprays will help to relieve them
Pollen allergy can be diagnosed by skin prick testing. As per WHO skin prick testing is the gold standard for treatment of allergies.
They respond well to allergen Immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is a safe and convenient way to deal with allergies, without having to visit the hospital frequently.
What is immunotherapy for allergies?
Immunotherapy is the primary course of treatment for allergies. In this form of treatment the allergen extract is administered in a gradual increasing dose over a period of time. This can be in the form of injections or drops to be taken below the tongue.
Does immunotherapy have side effects?
Immunotherapy is perfectly natural. It is the protein extract of the allergen as determined by the allergy testing. There are no allopathic, steroid, sedative or alternative medicine additive. Initially it trigger allergic symptoms till the body gets used to it. It DOES NOT cause weight gain or BEHAVIOURAL problems. You can check the link below and previous blog posts