Hyderabad’s summer arrival brings in pollen allergies

The combination of dry weather, falling leaves and hot winds has created ideal conditions for this allergic reaction, causing symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, red eyes, itching and headaches

April 02, 2024 08:06 pm | Updated 08:06 pm IST - HYDERABAD

With temperatures soaring in the twin cities, students protect themselves from the hot climate in Hyderabad

With temperatures soaring in the twin cities, students protect themselves from the hot climate in Hyderabad

With the onset of summer, Hyderabad residents are bracing not only for scorching temperatures but also allergies. Among these, pollen allergies also known as hay fever are on the rise signalling discomfort for many.

Pollen allergies, triggered by the release of pollen during the reproductive cycle of certain plants, have surged slightly in Hyderabad. The combination of dry weather, falling leaves and hot winds has created ideal conditions for this allergic reaction, causing symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, red eyes, itching and headaches.

Dr. Mahaboob Khan, Superintendent of Government Chest Hospital, advises precautions and treatments for affected individuals. “Wearing masks can offer initial relief,” he suggests. “Antihistamine drugs prescribed by doctors and local steroid nasal sprays are common treatments.” However, he cautions against the sedative effects of antihistamines, advising patients to take them at night to avoid impairment during daytime activities, particularly driving.

At the hospital’s allergy clinic which operates once a week, doctors are attending to an average of 10 to 15 cases highlighting the prevalence of pollen allergies in the region.

Meanwhile, Dr. Vyakarnam Nageshwar, a pulmonologist, allergist, and immunologist in Hyderabad, underscores the importance of trees in pollen dispersal. He expresses concern over the consequences of tree felling in Vikarabad to accommodate the Indian Navy’s Very Low Frequency (VLF) Radar Communication System. Dr. Nageshwar urges policymakers to prioritise environmental preservation to safeguard public health.

The destruction of natural tree barriers has exacerbated pollen dispersion, particularly impacting urban areas like Hyderabad, located just 70 km away. Dr. Nageshwar cites studies indicating a potential 200% increase in pollen accumulation in urban areas due to heightened CO2 levels, leading to a surge in asthma attacks, respiratory issues and emergency hospital admissions.

Dr. T Usha Rani, Superintendent of Niloufer Hospital, notes that wheezing among paediatric patients is often attributed to air pollution rather than pollen, particularly prevalent during the winter season in cities.

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