Special file: pollen allergies

yellow flower field with pollen coming out of it

Welcome to our complete file on air pollution, with today a focus on pollen.

When we talk about air quality, we tend to think that we are talking about pollution, and therefore mainly about the toxic gas that escapes from motor vehicles or fine particles that are present in the air.

But today we will talk to you about pollen, another factor that considerably influences air quality for a large part of the French population.

You can also visit our R-PUR site which presents ways to effectively protect yourself from pollen allergies.

What is pollen?

During the breeding season specific to each plant species, plants release their pollen (male reproductive system) so that it can encounter and fertilize flowers (female reproductive system).

Carried by the wind, or insects, these small microscopic grains are therefore there for a good reason!

Not all pollens are allergenic. However, each year they are synonymous with allergies for 25% of French people.

If you're one of them, you probably want to know what periods to dread, and how to protect yourself from them.

If you're wondering, you can actually find out what pollen is .

When does pollen allergy season start?

It is when the days are mild that the pollination peaks are the highest.

It is therefore no surprise that pollen is most present in the spring.

However, the "pollen season" actually extends almost throughout the year.

Pollen in January? This may be surprising, since few people suffer from allergies in winter.

This is quite normal, because not all pollens are allergenic, and the majority of French people suffer from allergies to grasses, whose pollination begins in April.

From January to October, three pollen seasons follow one another, starting with the pollination of trees.

two bees foraging on a plant and carrying pollen with them

1. Tree pollen season (January - April)

Tree pollination begins in January and lasts until April.

The trees therefore lead the way and are the ones that begin to produce pollen the earliest.

There are five families of trees that are particularly allergenic:

  • the work
  • the plane tree
  • beech
  • the willow
  • the cypress

For the year 2023, a fairly high risk of allergy to cupressaceae pollen (such as cedar or cypress) has been observed, particularly in the south of France.

In addition, the RNSA offers you the possibility of receiving weekly e-mails of allergy risk forecasts from the departments of your choice.

For more information, you can find our article to easily recognize pollen trees .

Map of France of the different pollen allergies

2. Grass pollen season (April - August)

Grasses are responsible for the well-known "hay fever".

50% of pollen allergies are actually a reaction to these grasses.

They are present everywhere, from the North to the South of France from April.

There are also three types of grasses that have allergenic pollens:

  • Forage grasses: main constituents of grasslands.
  • Cereal grasses: grasses present on the low sides, in the fields and in the pastures.
  • Ornamental grasses: pampas grass which are the grasses present in gardens or on roundabouts.

If you think you have a grass allergy, you can find our article tounderstand and protect yourself from grass pollen .

3. Grass pollen season: ragweed (end of August - October)

The herbaceous season closes the year with flowering beginning at the end of August until the end of October.

Although 5000 species of herbaceous exist, ragweed is by far the best known.

This plant, from South America, is considered extremely allergenic and asthmogenic (which causes asthma).

Ambrosia is very present in France and is also the subject of regular weeding campaigns.

yellow ambrosia leaves in a field

What are the symptoms of pollen allergy?

Often hereditary , this reaction of our immune system is described by several symptoms.

Symptoms usually present as allergic rhinitis, which is the most well-known reaction.

If every year you suffer from runny nose, series of sneezes, as well as irritation of the throat, then you are most likely allergic to pollen.

Allergic rhinitis is also accompanied for 50% of allergic people by itchy red eyes: this is conjunctivitis.

Finally, if your allergy has not been properly treated, it can quickly take the form of asthma. We first observe a cough, followed by a whistling of the bronchi, then asthma.

You can discover our complete article which will tell you the symptom of pollen allergy .

Fortunately, there are solutions to reduce the symptoms, we see that right after.

man sneezing into his elbow due to pollen allergy

How to treat and treat pollen allergy?

Long-term cases of pollen allergies are treated with desensitization.

Like a vaccine, the goal will be to expose the person concerned to the substance to which he is allergic, at low doses, over a period of two to five years .

After a certain period, the body no longer recognizes the allergen as an enemy.

There are of course faster and more ad hoc solutions that you are surely familiar with:

  • Symptomatic treatments.
  • Antihistamines.

These act on the symptoms, and help to relieve cases of allergy in the short term .

You can also discover the 5 steps to relieve your pollen allergy .

Can we directly eliminate exposure to pollen?

By wearing a mask, for example.

When pollen season is in full swing, more and more people affected by the problem seek protection.

They can then turn to an anti-pollution mask.
It is then necessary to take into account two essential parameters:

Efficiency : which allergens will my mask filter, and up to what size?

Hermeticity: in other words, will the outside air enter my mask?

At R-PUR, we have developed a mask that perfectly meets these two criteria:

  • Thanks to its five filtering layers, the R-PUR mask absorbs all allergenic particles from the air and thus allows you to remain protected against tree, grass and herbaceous pollen.
  • In terms of airtightness, depending on the morphology of your face, we will filter 99.86% to 99.98% of the outside air.

In the short term, no more allergic rhinitis, runny nose and itchy eyes! As for the long-term effects, your body will thank you.

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