Jaipur Braces for Allergy Season as Holoptelia Pollen Emerges

Urgent Calls for Increased Awareness and Pollen Monitoring

Holoptelia pollen in Jaipur’s air this year, on February 29th, 2024, marks its first appearance, heralding a season of discomfort for allergy-sensitive individuals. Holoptelea integrifolia, commonly known as chibil tree or bander ki roti, stands as the most allergenic plant pollen in the city of Jaipur. Its pollen concentration remains notably high in the air for one to two months, posing challenges particularly for individuals prone to pollen allergies.

Dr Nishtha Singh, Director of Asthma Bhawan told that detection of this pollen is facilitated by a Burkard pollen counter, an instrument installed atop Asthma Bhawan, a respiratory care center and hospital in Jaipur.

Holoptelea pollen concentration peaks during morning and evening hours, urging affected individuals to take precautionary measures such as staying indoors, wearing triple-layered masks covering nose and mouth, and limiting outdoor activities during these periods. The surge in asthma and allergy patients visiting hospital OPDs marks the onset of the allergic season, characterized by symptoms like nasal discharge, breathing difficulties, wheezing, burning eyes, and rashes.

Holoptelea trees are abundantly present in Jaipur, lining streets and adorning public parks like Central Park, Gandhi Nagar, and Vaishali Nagar, often leading to unsuspecting individuals falling ill during their morning walks. Despite its widespread presence, awareness regarding the adverse effects of this tree remains limited, with even government bodies endorsing its plantation.

Approximately 10% of asthma patients in Jaipur suffer from Holoptelea allergy, underlining the significant impact of this pollen on public health. In India, only a handful of centers conduct daily pollen counting, with Asthma Bhawan being one of them. Hence, there is a pressing need to emphasise pollen counting across India, paralleling global standards, and providing pollen forecasts or ‘pollen weather’ for the benefit of Indian citizens. Such measures can significantly aid in mitigating the impact of pollen allergies and promoting public health nationwide.

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