So the Pandemic seems to be subsiding. General rules have been relaxed regarding masks, social distancing, etc. People with allergy were happy after using masks and noticeably had a reduction in symptoms of sneezing, running nose, etc. With the practice of hygiene, sanitizing and cleaning of surfaces, vegetables and fruits, led to a reduction in colds, diarrhoea and stomach bugs.
. However, this has led to an increased symptoms of sneezing, running nose and itching.
People with sneezing and allergic rhinitis have a recurrence in sneezing with rejoining of workplace
People have been rushing to vacation spots and making them overcrowded. A lot of them return from their break with respiratory and ear infections.
Children after resuming school physically are falling sick more frequently after being isolated for so long
More people are falling sick after indulging in street food.
Therefore, though the pandemic has subsided, We should still be careful and Adhere to basic safety norms.
It’s a good idea for patients with allergic rhinitis, asthma, respiratory diseases, senior citizens and people with high risk to continue wearing masks, safety goggles and covering clothes like hoodies
Sanitize fruit and vegetable after buying them from the vendor
Be aware while consuming street food
Be careful while visiting public water parks, resorts, etc.
Wash your clothes after prolonged exposure to outdoor pollution and take a shower
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
Sadly, hearing has not been given as importance as it should. People get specs made as soon as they realise they cannot see. But they’re not so keen on getting a hearing aid fitted, though the latest digital hearing aids are user friendly.
Hearing for all:
This should start at the cradle itself. Suspected hearing loss at birth can be detected by a very simple hearing test known as echo screening.
As the child grows up attention should be given to whether it is responding to sounds, startling on sudden sounds or turning the head towards the sound.
BERA test can be done in babies to detect hearing loss. Its a special computerised test which directly detects hearing problems in the brain
Children require constant care and constantly speaking with them will aid in speech development
Cochlear implantation can be done at a very early age in hearing impaired children for better results
Childhood diseases such as pus coming from the ears, colds enlarged tonsils and adenoids which lead to fluid collection behind the ear drum and other ear diseases should be dealt with.
Young adults and teenagers should be aware of proper hearing practices. They should avoid prolonged use of earphones at high levels, avoid high decibel sounds in clubs, parties,rock shows etc
Avoid inserting foreign objects like Q tips, pins, toothpicks etc in the ear canal. This can damage the ear drum or inner ear, impact wax or other objects in the ear canal and make things worse.
Proper hearing screening for senior citizens at the early stages of hearing loss so they can adjust better to hearing devices, and for their safety.
The views expressed on the website are solely of the author. Contact your ENT doctor, child specialist for further guidance