Laboratory for palynology
Faculty of Sciences
Trg Dositeja Obradovica 2
21 000 Novi Sad





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About Allergy

What is allergy?
Allergy is hypersensitivity to some substances, while allergic reaction is immune system response to various chemical substances. Food, animal body parts (dandruff), excrements, poison of insects, fungal spores, pollen etc., are the carriers of substances (allergens) that can trigger allergic reaction.


How it is developed?
Immune system, normally, works as a defense against organisms and substances that threaten human body (for example bacteria, viruses). In most allergic reactions, immune system recognizes the allergen as harmful substance and heavily reacts.

The first contact of immune system with allergen induces the production of proteins called antibodies (IgE) which attach to mastocytes (white blood cells present in tissues) and basophile granulocytes (white blood cells present in blood). Each allergen induces production of specific antibody (for example different types of pollen produce different types of antibodies).

When allergen enter the body for the second time, it binds to IgE molecules attached to above mentioned cells which is signal to them to produce and release strong inflammatory substances such as histamines, leukotriens and prostaglandins. The effect of these substances to various body parts cause symptoms of allergic reaction.

Sneezing, itching in the nose, eyes and throat regions, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and dark circles around eyes (caused by partly blocked circulation around sinuses) are the most common symptoms of pollen allergies.Some people allergic to pollen might develop asthma.

How it is treated?
There are three basic directions in allergy treatment:
1. Avoiding allergens
2. Taking medicine which treat symptoms (inhibits active substances released from mastocites and/or basophile granulocytes)
3. Immunotherapy


Avoiding pollen is difficult, and here are some advices which might help:
1. Test which pollen cause allergy with you.
2. Ask your doctor, which medicine will relief your symptoms (Do not forget that most medicaments have the best effect if they are taken before the symptoms become bad).
3. Use information on airborne pollen concentrations (aeropalynological reports), and plan your activities according to them.
4. Stay indoors as long as possible during the flowering season of plants which cause allergy with you. Chose rainy days for walking.
5. Remember that the most pollen is released in air during dry days with low relative humidity and mild wind.
6. In order to protect your eyes wear sunglasses.
7. Do not mown grass and stay indoors while it is done (If you can not omit this action wear mask for mouth and nose).
8. Cut the grass often in order to prevent flowering.
9. Eradicate weeds from your environment.
10. Keep windows on your house and car closed.
11. Use air conditioner with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Accumulative) filters.
12. If you do not have air conditioner in your car get it installed or put the filter at ventilation system.
13. Do not travel in rural areas during flowering season of plants that produce allergenic pollen.
14. Omit walking near and through areas rich with weeds.
15. Plan your holidays according to pollen calendars (The goal is to omit pollen season of plants which induce allergy with you).
16. If you are allergic to pollen of plants that grow near your window, remove them.
17. In order to remove pollen from your hair, take shower and wash hair whenever you return home.
18. Wash your face often (especially region around eyes).
19. Do not dry laundry outdoors.
20. Consider immunotherapy if you can not control your symptoms.

With cold and wet weather, flowering season ends and problems caused by pollen allergy disappear. If the allergic reaction continues, especially after long period spent indoors, it is possible that you suffer INDOOR ALLERGY which means that you are allergic to substances accumulated in house dust (mold spores, animal excrements and body parts).