Frequently Asked Questions
   
1. What is pollen?
 

The pollen grains are the male tiny particles which are released from trees, weeds, and grasses. Pollen grains function is to fertilize other parts of plants, but many never reach their targets and remain suspended in atmosphere.Most species of pollen have some level of allergenicity but not all of them.

2. What is pollen Allergy?
 

The suspended pollen grains in the air reach the human respiratory track through inhalation, triggering a type of seasonal allergy called pollen allergy. Pollen is one of the most widespread of all the things that can cause an allergy. Many of the foods, drugs, or animals that cause allergies can be avoided to a great extent; even insects and household dust are avoidable. But staying indoors when the pollen count is very high may not help to evade windborne pollen.

3. What are the symptoms of pollen Allergy?
 

Normally observed symptoms of pollen allergy include;

    1. Sneezing accompanied by a runny or clogged nose
    2. Itching eyes, nose, and throat
    3. Watering of eyes
    4. Difficulty in breathing
    5. Conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelids, causing red-rimmed eyes).
    6. Some people with pollen allergy develop asthma, a serious respiratory condition.
4. Why pollen concentration is more in Islamabad as compared to other cities?
 

Islamabad is among the cities with the highest pollen counts in the world. The pollen concentration is more in Islamabad as compared to other cities because of population of Paper Mulberry trees. Its population is maximum in Islamabad whereas almost negligible in other cities.

5. When the pollen concentration remains maximum?
 

Extremely high concentration of pollen is observed in spring (March-April) and relatively less high pollen concentration in monsoon season.

6. From where information regarding pollen concentration can be taken?
 
  1. The daily pollen count information could be seen in the newspapers, radio and television during the pollen allergy season.
  2. Click here for detail information regarding pollen concentrations in Islamabad.
  3. Pollen information can be taken from 051-9250369 & 051-9250334 (0900 to 1600 hours PST).
  4. 24 hours helpline for pollen information: 051-9250363-4.
7. What precautionary measures pollen patients should take during the high pollen concentration days?
 

Individuals with pollen allergy should try to avoid unnecessary exposure to irritants such as;

  1. Dust
  2. Insect sprays
  3. Tobacco smoke
  4. Fresh tar or paint
  5. Use of perfumes
  6. Walking in garden
  7. Using carpets on the floor
  8. Keeping the window of car close while travelling
8. Does Met Office has the capability to forecast shooting trend of pollens during March-April?
 

Yes Met. Office can forecast the shooting trend of pollens on the basis of prevailing meteorological conditions and by using statistical techniques.

9. Do we expect variation in pollen count before and after rainfall?
 

Yes rain has negative as well as positive correlation with the pollen count. Rain has positive effect on pollen concentration prior to spring (pollen season) but with the onset of spring it has dual effect.

10. At what time the information regarding pollen count is updated and made available on PMD website?
 

The pollen count information is uploaded daily on PMD website: www.pmd.gov.pk generally between 11:30am to 12:00pm.

11. Pollen season in Islamabad?
 
  1. Peak Pollen season in Islamabad starts from first week of March and ends in mid April.
  2. Extremely high pollen concentration in the month of March and relatively less high concentration in July are recorded.
  3. The highest concentrations of pollens were observed in 2005 & the lowest in 2004 up till now.
 

Note: For further information and advice contact PMD's allergy consultant at pollen@pmd.gov.pk

 
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