Pollen allergy bugs Kashmir

Doctors Say Prevention, Rather Than Medicines, Best Cure

Srinagar, May 17: The cotton-type pollen produced by Russian poplars has turned into a major health concern in Kashmir with experts having little to offer to the masses except some precautionary measures.
Since mid April whole of Kashmir has been caught in this trouble with children and elderly persons being the worst affected.
The pollen from these trees is the female fertilizing agent that helps it to reproduce. “It is this pollen floating in the air these days which trigger seasonal allergic rhinitis known as pollen allergy,” said a doctor.
The pollen causes rhinitis and throat infection. Doctors says prevention, rather than medicines, is the best cure for the allergy. They advise preventing unnecessary exposure to the substance and use of masks to minimize the effects of pollen.
Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, a chest specialist, said the pollens affect the newborn and asthma patients the most.
Common symptoms, he said, include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, fever and cold. It also causes problems to the eyes of people suffering from conjunctivitis, said Dr Naveed. “If the asthma patients constantly suffer from pollen allergy, it can even cause their death,” he warned.
Experts at SK University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology said the Russian poplars were introduced here many years ago and now Kashmir has about 15 million of these trees.
“Most of these trees are female which produce this cotton type of pollen. Male versions of these trees also produce pollen which is invisible to the human eye but is more harmful to health as compared to the female pollen,” he said. “Female pollen usually causes eye irritation but the male pollen is responsible for more hazardous allergies like allergic rhinitis.”
An ENT specialist said when the pollen enters the body through nose or mouth it causes a ‘foreign body reaction’ which can lead to nasal drip, eye irritation or redness, persistent sneezing and breathing problems.
Srinagar seems to be bearing the brunt of the problem. Many areas of the city like Rajbagh, Barzulla, Lal Chowk, Dalgate are worst hit.
People are seen using surgical masks to avoid the pollen entering their body through nose or mouth.
“One-fourth of Kashmir population is battling this allergy,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Shailendra Kumar told Greater Kashmir.  “We have sought opinion from Forest authorities on felling these trees,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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