© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. All rights reserved. The impact of pollen on human health is primarily evident in allergic diseases. Sensitized patients can respond to pollen by symptoms of nose, eyes and bronchi. Pollen threshold levels for sensitization are unknown; instead most studies focus on the prevalence of sensitization for different pollen species. The pollen thresholds for symptom development vary among the different studies. Factors that influence the threshold level of a pollen species for symptom development are discussed. (i) Differences in response are observed among individual patients, but also among (ii) ethnic populations, (iii) changes in response to pollen concentrations during the pollen season occur, (iv) the amount of allergens carried by the pollen grains can differ in per region, from day to day and from year to year, and finally (v) threshold levels are affected by environmental factors, like weather conditions (temperature, pressure and storms), and air pollutants.The diversity of factors that influence the health impact of pollen has hampered the definition of a straight forward relationship between pollen and the severity of symptoms. However, within the public, the policymakers and the pharmaceutical industry there is a need for a definition of threshold pollen levels. A first approach to meet this need could be to define preliminary threshold values for different regions, followed by a validation of these preliminary threshold levels with patient symptom scores that can be collected by using new information and communication technology (ICT). Finally, the possible role of pollen in non allergic diseases is discussed, especially non-allergic respiratory diseases, cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases, and psychiatric diseases, including suicide and suicide attempt.
|Title of host publication||Allergenic Pollen: A Review of the Production, Release, Distribution and Health Impacts|
|Number of pages||54|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2013|
- Airborne allergens
- Allergenic pollen
- Threshold levels