Chandigarh now has its first pollen calendar, which can identify potential allergy triggers and provide a clear understanding for clinicians as well as allergy sufferers about their causes to help limit their exposure during high pollen loads.
What is a Pollen Calendar?
- Pollen calendars represent the time dynamics of airborne pollen present in a particular geographical area.
- They yield readily accessible visual details about various airborne pollen present throughout the year in a single picture.
- Though the concept is not essentially new, this is one of the major environmental concerns that had not been addressed for the Indian cities.
- Such calendars are location-specific, as pollen concentrations are closely related to locally distributed flora.
- Europe, UK and the US are using regional pollen calendars in a big way to prevent and diagnose allergic rhinitis/hay fever and predict the timing and severity of the pollen season.
- Pollen grains are male biological structures with the primary role of fertilization, but when inhaled by humans, they may strain the respiratory system and cause allergies.
- Pollen found suspended in air can cause widespread upper respiratory tract and nasobronchial allergy with manifestations like asthma, seasonal rhinitis, and bronchial irritation.
- About 20-30 percent of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis/hay fever in India, and approximately 15 percent develop asthma.
- Pollen is considered a major outdoor airborne allergen responsible for allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis in humans.