More than 400 allergy patients have been treated so far at the 16th free pollen allergy camp set up on March 20 at the Aabpara Community Center, Islamabad under the supervision of district administration and health department.
Similarly, according to data released by the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Tuesday, more than 8,000 pollen patients have visited the hospital since the start of the allergy season.
The pollen count in Islamabad was at its highest in nine years on Tuesday at 82,270 particles per cubic metre of air (PPCM).
The occasional light rains, warm days and cool nights and soft winds helped flowers bloom in the green areas of the capital which pushed the pollen count up.
The camp administration has said that all the medicines are being provided free of cost to the patients. ICT Administration is holding allergy camps since 2004 and so far 70,000 patients have been treated at these camps.
The allergy experts provide three types of treatment facilities at these camps including allopathic, homeopathic and Tib-e-Unani and separate counters are setup for the male, female and children patients.
Pharmacies and Pharmaceutical companies have also donated medicines for these camps which will remain open till month end.
The very high pollen release is mainly due to the blooming of paper mulberry, followed by grasses and various fungi, while cannabis found abundantly in Islamabad, has also started to release its spores.
The pollen count in the capital normally hovers above 30,000 particles per cubic meter during the peak season. And that is not considered a record high, since it regularly tops 40,000.
The highest pollen count was recorded in H-8 at 43,330 PPCM , surpassing the nine-year record of 43,780 PPCM recorded on March 17, 2009, while the highest ever pollen count in recent history was at 48,080 PPCM on March 26, 2005.
The residents of the federal capital city with pollen allergy have been asked to adopt extra measures during the spring season when pollen count ranges highest in the third and last week of March.
According to a physician, Dr Zafar Luqman, people suffering from asthma and respiratory diseases experience complications due to sharp increase in pollen concentrations.
The residents, especially those with pollen allergy, have been advised to avoid going to gardens and forests for jogging at tracks which are in the green areas.
The patients are also advised by the specialists to remove the flowers and indoor plants from their rooms and houses.”People should close the windows to ensure pollen would not enter their houses.
After washing, do not spread clothes in the air for a long time because pollens can stick to them. After reaching home people should change their dress and shower to ensure that pollen is washed away,” he said.
He said that single most important step one can take is to avoid pollen in the allergy season. Those who can afford to leave should do so, and remain away from high pollen concentration areas.
About symptoms of pollen allergy, he said sneezing, running nose, itching and watering of eyes, coughing, and difficulties in breathing are the main signs of this disease.
The patients should avoid unnecessary exposure to irritants such as dust, insect sprays, tobacco smoke, air pollution and paint as these could aggravate the pollen allergy.
He also asked the patients to desist from eating spicy food, use of perfumes, walking in garden and using carpets on the floor, while they should wear face mask, use wet cloth for dusting and use vacuum cleaner instead of broom.
He also mentioned the people not to open the window of the car and use sunglasses when outdoors and apply fresh water in eyes and nose.
additional input by APP