Allergy to pollen
Allergy to pollen - a group of allergic diseases caused by pollen of plants, characterized by acute inflammatory manifestations from the mucous membranes and skin. This disease is characterized by a clearly repeating seasonality, which coincides with the flowering time of certain allergenic plants. The severity and nature of clinical manifestations on plant pollens directly depends on the sensitivity of each particular organism to pollen allergens, as well as the presence of concomitant diseases and allergic reactions.
The allergy to pollen ( pollinosis ) first became widely known in 1914, when practically the entire population of the village located in the south of France, due to the sharply developed edema of the mucosa, was gripped by a real horror in front of an unknown disease. In our country, scientists first encountered a massive manifestation of pollen allergy in the mid-sixties in the Kuban, after the ragweed brought from America ambrosia. To date, in Russia alone, about 15% of the population suffers from pollen pollen, and after 14 years of age, mostly girls suffer, and up to 14 - boys.
Pollen allergy is caused solely by the pollen of plants, which have allergenic properties and belong to a truly huge amount of flying pollen, widespread wind-polluted plants. Depending on the period of flowering of allergenic plants, pollen allergy has three peaks of incidence: spring, summer, autumn, although in some patients certain clinical manifestations of this type of allergy can be observed throughout all three periods, beginning in spring and ending in late autumn.
• The first peak period of pollen allergy is April and May. In this period, the allergy to pollen of birch, ash, oak, maple, poplar and walnut prevails
• The second period of pollen allergic manifestations falls on the time interval from June to August. In these months, cereals are beginning to flourish: bluegrass, rye, wheatgrass, fire, corn, etc. Also in June, there is an increased concentration of poplar fluff in the air, so the allergic reactions that appeared at this time are more likely to be associated with it. In contrast to the acute reaction to pollen, the allergy to poplar fluff has a less pronounced clinical picture
• The third period of pollen allergy is autumn, when the pollen of various weed plants predominates in the air, among which the most allergenic activity is possessed by quinoa, hemp, dandelion and, of course, ragweed
The pollen allergy is not officially classified, therefore it is accepted to subdivide it depending on the degree of severity and localization of the pathological process. According to this, there are:
• Allergic skin diseases
• Allergic eye injuries
• Allergic diseases of the lower and upper respiratory tract
• Combined allergic manifestations
• Rarely observed clinical manifestations of pollen etiology
The most common manifestations of allergy to pollen: contact (allergic) dermatitis, urticaria, Quincke's edema , allergic conjunctivitis , bronchial asthma, allergic rhinosinusitis / rhinitis. These clinical manifestations of pollen allergy to plants can occur both in combination and independently. Less often, due to the influence of pollen allergens, there may be changes in the digestive, cardiovascular, genitourinary and nervous systems.
Allergy-causing pollen should have the following properties:
• Volatility and lightness, i.e. ability to spread over large distances
• High allergenicity / antigenicity, i.e. belong to a genus of plants widespread in a given locality
• Diameter of pollen grains should be no more than 35 microns. It is due to such microscopic dimensions of pollen that it is possible to create in the air a very high concentration and ensure its unobstructed penetration into the respiratory tract
The composition of the pollen of plants can contain up to ten antigenic components, which are present not only directly in the pollen grains, but also in the leaves and stems. The most pronounced allergenic property is exina (the outer shell of pollen grains). It was found that the damage to the mucous membranes causes a water-soluble fraction of the pollen allergen, and contact dermatitis is fat-soluble (especially when the allergen contacts the skin).
As a rule, the pollen allergy is caused by wind-pollinated plants, since the pollen of such plants in the air is much higher than the pollen of plants pollinated by insects.
Typically, the release of wind pollen pollen is observed in the early morning, but reaches the highest concentration in the air in the daytime and / or in the early evening, which is caused by higher air circulation during these hours. In cities, the concentration of pollen in dry weather is much higher than in the damp and rainy
Symptoms of pollen allergy
Symptomatology of this disease is mainly associated with damage to the mucous membranes of the eyes and upper respiratory tract. The most typical clinical symptom of this disease is rhinoconjunctivitis syndrome, which combines allergic signs from the upper respiratory tract, nasal mucosa and the eye mucosa.
The pollen allergy is almost always at the beginning of its course begins with the characteristic signs of conjunctivitis: burning and itching of the eyes, sensation in the eye of the foreign body, lacrimation and photophobia, the conjunctiva is slightly red, the eyelids are swollen.
Simultaneously with conjunctivitis, characteristic signs of rhinitis are observed: itching at the site of the nasal cavity passage into the pharynx, characteristic bouts of prolonged sneezing, which is accompanied by abundant discharge from the mucus's nose, pain sensations in the frontal and maxillary sinuses.
In addition to the violation of respiratory functions, patients have a crack in the ears and pain in the parotid region. Ear symptoms are often accompanied by nausea, resulting in vomiting.
As the pollen from the surrounding air disappears, all of the above symptomatology begins to weaken and gradually fades into nothing.
The severity of manifestations of the disease directly depends on the degree of sensitivity of a particular person to inhaled allergens and especially on the amount of inhaled pollen. With the increase in the amount of pollen getting to the mucosa and the respiratory tract, the symptoms of the disease become more pronounced.
Diagnosis of pollen allergy is based on an external examination of the patient, a thorough examination of the patient and the results of cutaneous allergic tests
Allergy to pollen - treatment
In the event that a person has an increased sensitivity to pollen of plants, it is unfortunately almost impossible to cure this for today. That is why the most effective and perhaps the only method of treatment so far is the exclusion of contact with a provoking allergen. The current treatment of pollen allergy is the conduct of specific immunotherapy with allergens, which consists in the subcutaneous administration over several weeks of ever higher doses of a provoking allergen. In response to such a gradual introduction, the body begins to produce a kind of "antidote" to this allergen. Specific immunotherapy should be carried out in advance, even before the onset of flowering allergy-provoking plants. However, you should know that if there are any signs of an exacerbation, this type of treatment is categorically contraindicated. Carrying out immunotherapy requires the patient to have a lot of patience, since until stable results are achieved, it must be carried out for at least three years. That is why the most common method of treating pollen allergy is drug therapy with vasoconstrictors (galazoline, oxymetazoline, naphthysine) and antihistamine (loratadine, taewegil, diazolin, suprastin) drugs, the regimen and dosage of which should be prescribed only by a qualified doctor. To treat the symptoms of conjunctivitis and to exclude the possible subsequent development of a purulent process, the eyes should be instilled with the r-rum of the albucid
Prevention of allergy to pollen
The most effective way to prevent pollen allergy is to completely eliminate contact with provoking pollen. Ideal option is the temporary abandonment of the flowering area provoking the development of plant allergies. In case this can not be done, the following recommendations should be adhered to during the flowering of quarantine plants:
• Refrain from traveling outside the city and walking through forests and parks
• On opening doors and windows in the office and apartment
• In windless weather, in the evening and after the rain, it is necessary to ventilate the room, while on the open door or window it is necessary to hang gauze moistened in water or a sheet
• In hot, dry, windy days, it is better to refrain from going outside, because in such conditions the concentration of pollen in the air is the highest. If this happened, then on return you should immediately change your clothes
• Take a shower at least twice a day
• After washing, it is strictly forbidden to dry things outdoors (balcony or street), because pollen will settle on them
• Daily wet cleaning should be done in the apartment
These recommendations should be carried out, regardless of whether (at work, at home, at a party), where the person predisposed to pollen allergy is located.