Pollen allergy is a serious public health issue that causes morbidity and, as a result, has a negative impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Expanding pieces of evidence derived from existing literature suggest that climate change and air pollutants may impact pollen amount, morphology, season, allergen content, and dispersion pattern. As a result, the prevalence and occurrence of allergies connected to pollen exposure will be affected.
Indian Scientists have suggested large scale measures like developing pollen forecast systems and training health care professionals and personal measures like following pollen forecasts, use of face masks, spectacles, and air filters, regularly taking prescribed medications, limiting outdoor exposure, and avoiding gardening or grass-cutting during peak pollen seasons could help minimize the onset and exacerbation of pollen-related allergic diseases.
From simple, basic, to complex levels; Implementation gaps and measures for pollen allergy prevention and control
The recent study, by Prof. Ravindra Khaiwal from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Akshi Goyal, Ph.D. research scholar, and Dr. Suman Mor, Chairperson, Department of Environment Studies, systematically examines the implementation gaps to minimize the pollen allergy disease and suffering.
The research focuses on lower and middle-income nations to understand the fundamental causes of widespread pollen allergy and identify implementation gaps in order to offer critical adaptive approaches to reduce the incidence and severity of pollen-related allergic disorders.
Why Multi-stakeholder strategy to address pollen allergy?
The study discusses areas to identify ‘how to reduce the risk of illnesses related to pollen allergy by implementing prevention and control strategies at the individual, health care communities and organisations, local governments, and national/international governments levels.
Here, multi-stakeholder engagement could be the key to minimizing pollen allergy’s impact, including a focus on the education sector to build capacity in aerobiological research, developing pollen forecast systems, and training health care professionals.
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Awareness around Pollen Allergy Symptoms
Pollen allergy is often considered a self-managed condition that enables atopic individuals to be at risk of missing health checkups and proper treatment. There is a lack of awareness among the people regarding pollen allergy, majorly in low-middle income countries.
The symptoms of pollen allergy are somewhat similar to common flu and cold. Therefore, even if they have an allergy, itchy throat, or running nose, they try to treat it with home remedies.
So, the dissemination of proper knowledge regarding pollen allergy, allergen avoidance, their pollen allergy symptoms and management is needed to better address the pollen allergy ailment.
Climate Change & Pollen Allergies. What is changing?
Over the past few decades, the prevalence of pollen allergy has increased. This trend is projected to rise due to urbanization, air pollution, and climate change, particularly in urban areas. In order to alleviate the effects of climate change and air pollution, the establishment and growth of green spaces and urban forests are encouraged to improve the quality of life.
However, an increase in the green spaces may also enhance allergic pollen levels. Therefore, knowing pollen will always persist in the environment, developing and strengthening pollen allergy prevention and treatment strategies are needed.