Pollen allergy is one of the most common among allergic patients, but within this group, symptoms can be experienced throughout the year or in a specific period of time . This difference depends solely and exclusively on the presence of the allergen: if the symptoms appear throughout the year, it is because the allergen is in the environment during that entire period of time. In the case of seasonal allergies, the symptoms appear when the allergen is found in high concentrations in the environment and is dependent on the flowering cycles of the plants .
Pollen appears during the flowering cycle
The flowering cycle of plants is that by which the plant begins the processes necessary to reproduce and that we can simplify as “the appearance of flowers”. The flowering period depends on various internal factors, which are characteristic of each plant species and are coordinated by hormones. The hormones are responsible for sending signals and checking if the plant has enough nutrients and energy to manufacture the floral structures. However, there are also external factors. It is the set of environmental stimuli that can also condition the start of flowering, such as temperature, humidity or sunlight. If all internal and external factors give the green light, the plant begins to produce its flowers .
Pollen is one of the parts of flowers, and its main function is not to cause allergies, but to carry out the propagation of its species by being distributed in the air for germination and subsequent fertilization. Once the ovule that is waiting inside the flower is fertilized, it gives rise to the seeds of the fruit that generates a new plant. The problem appears when some people have an exaggerated reaction to the presence of pollen in the air, which is not harmful and should not harm humans in their pollination process .
The Sun will begin the month above Pisces , remaining in this constellation for several weeks until moving to Aries towards the end of April , where it will remain briefly before moving above Taurus in May. This does not practically coincide with the dates assigned by astrology to the horoscope, which is indicative of the unreliability of this pseudoscience. However, the Sun continues to move away from the celestial equator (the projection of the terrestrial equator on the sky), rising over the northern hemisphere and thereby lengthening the length of the days and heating this area of the planet , as corresponds to spring.
What pollen appears in April?
Each plant species has an estimated flowering window at a specific time of year that can vary depending on weather conditions. However, there are some pollen calendars that can help us have an approximate prediction and help people who suffer from seasonal allergies to specific types of pollen. In this month of April, the following types of trees come into bloom: birch ( Betula ), ash ( Fraxinus ), oak ( Quercus ), mulberry ( Morus ), palm ( Palmaceae ), pine ( Pinus ) and plane tree ( Platanus ). ) , among others.
The types of trees mentioned begin their flowering during this month (as long as the weather conditions are suitable), and their pollination cycle is usually relatively short. People allergic to this pollen may no longer have symptoms by the end of the month because the amount of pollen in the air is very low. A very important factor is geographical location, since some plant species are more abundant or totally absent in specific regions . In the case of the Canary Islands, the month of April brings the flowering of the following plant species: sagebrush ( Artemisia ), castor bean ( Ricinus ), and eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus ) .
However, there are other plant species whose flowering and/or pollination cycle began weeks ago and continue to release high concentrations of pollen into the environment. Among them we find the plantain ( Plantago ), the grasses ( Gramineae ), the poplar or poplar ( Populus ), the conifers ( Cupresaceae ) and the urticaceae ( Urticaceae ).
People who are allergic to the pollen of any of these trees should be especially careful when going outside or practicing outdoor activities. The amount of pollen in the air can increase from day to day, causing rapid symptoms.
A positive aspect of the month of April is that (in some areas) it is still the rainy season, and this helps to lower the level of pollen in the environment, because the humidity can partially hydrate the pollen grains and they will fall more quickly. to the ground by an increase in its weight . Thus, if it rains, the symptoms may not be as severe and it may be safer for allergic people to walk down the street or play sports outdoors.
If you are allergic to any of these plant species, it is recommended that you check if you have the treatment that you usually use to control or prevent symptoms. The most frequent symptoms for this type of allergy are rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma. Therefore, oral antihistamines, nasal decongestant, eye drops and inhaler are your best allies. Do not forget that the medications have an expiration date, and even if you have left over from the previous year, it is best to check that in addition to having enough for when the symptoms begin, that they are not expired. In the event that you need to restock your medicine cabinet, your GP and sometimes the pharmacy itself will be able to recommend the appropriate one.
Flowering can occur from one day to the next without asking for permission. The most important thing is to be prepared and take the necessary steps to be able to control the symptoms when they appear and do not cause serious problems . And remember that if you have any doubts about your allergy, it is best to consult a specialist before taking any medication.
Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC). 2022.European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). 2022. Association of doctors, researchers and health professionals.