Pollen was the first allergen to be identified. Pollen is the male reproductive structure of seed plants. Pollen with allergenic significance is small enough to remain suspended in the air. Weather conditions have a significant effect on the intensity and duration of pollination.
Rain considerably reduces pollen concentrations, not only because of the rainwater, but also because of the fewer hours of sun. The lack of sun can limit the dissemination of the particles, which can prolong the presence of high pollen levels on the ground. The wind also propels large quantities of pollen. Pollination occurs progressively when the temperature increases gradually in spring, but quickly when temperatures change from 12ºC to 20ºC in a matter of weeks.
Recommendations for patients allergic to pollen:
- Know which pollen causes the allergy.
- Know when the pollen season is and the pollen count relating to your allergy.
- Avoid going out into the open air on maximum pollination days or when it is very windy.
- At home, avoid leaving the windows open when it is sunny and at night. Windows can be opened at dusk. Daybreak is the time when pollen is most abundant.
- Use suitable filters on vacuum cleaners and vacuum once a week.
- Air-conditioning at home is useful. Use the appropriate filters to stop pollen from entering the house.
- Avoid going out to the countryside, walks in parks and gardens during high pollen times.
- Use glasses to protect your eyes from direct contact with the air.
- Avoid open windows during car journeys. Use the air-conditioning.
- Consult your allergist should you need to travel.
- Carry symptomatic medication with you.
- Nowadays it is possible to improve quality of life with immunotherapy (vaccines) and obtain a real and definitive cure.