Pollens are male gametes (microspores) of plants, which are transported by wind or insects. Medical interest in these structures is due to a high prevalence of allergy to them. It is estimated that 15% of general population is allergic to anemophilous pollen. Symptoms of the disease may develop practically in every organ of the body. This paper reviews practical applications of pollen monitoring in allergology.
Methods of measuring pollen concentration in atmospheric air could be roughly divided into gravimetric, as well as inertial passive and impaction methods. Inertial impaction methods, called also volumetric, are most useful as they allow to measure the number of pollens in a specified volume of the air. Methods of detecting pollen allergens that are not bound to pollen grains were also presented. Finally, the usefulness of pollen monitoring was discussed for doctors who treat patients with pollen-allergic rhinits, asthma, airborne atopic eczema and contact urticaria.
Key words: allergology, pollinosis, pollen allergy, pollen monitoring, allergic rhinitis, asthma, airborne dermatitis, airborne urticaria.
© Radoslaw Spiewak
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