Asthma patients have to be a little cautious as pollen of Holoptelea integrifolia tree or chibil tree or bandar ki roti, the most allergenic plant pollen of the city is in the air. This year this plant pollen was detected in the air of Jaipur city for the first time on February 12, 2021.
Asthma Bhawan executive director and pulmonologist Dr Nishtha Singh said that the presence of this pollen in air forecasts difficult times for those patients who are susceptible for allergies from pollen. This pollen remains in very high concentration in air for the duration of one to two months. Around 10 % patients of asthma patients suffer from Holoptelea allergy.
She said, “This pollen is present in higher concentration during morning and evening. The patients who have allergies to this plant should avoid going outside their houses and should cover the nose and mouth properly with a triple layered mask during morning and evening.”
People are advised to limit their outdoor activities during this pollen season. It is the beginning of the allergic season as there is an upsurge in the number of asthma allergy patients visiting hospital OPD with various symptoms including nasal watery discharge, breathing problem, wheezing, burning eyes and rashes. This peak pollen season of Holoptelea will remain until the end of April, Dr Singh added.
This pollen is detected in the air with the help of an instrument known as Burkard pollen counter. It is a pollen entrapment machine which has been installed at the rooftop of Asthma Bhawan, a Respiratory centre and hospital in Vidhyadhar Nagar Jaipur for the last 11 years. Daily pollen count is displayed on the website of Asthma Bhawan, which can be viewed by everyone and is especially useful for asthma and allergy patients.
In Jaipur, one can find Holoptelea trees easily on every other street in large numbers. Most people are not aware about the ill effects of the tree even though the state government and civic bodies encourage its plantation. The trees are commonly found in government parks, Central park, Gandhi Nagar where people go for morning walk and fall ill.
Every year Holoptelea is detected in the month of March but this year it has been detected earlier by 15 to 20 days. According to Dr Singh, it has been seen that the spring season has approached quite earlier this year throughout the world. The cause behind this is difficult to assess, but possibly due to COVID, the pollution in the air has decreased and thus nature is very healthy for trees to grow.