What is pollen and how to protect yourself from it?

What is pollen and how to protect yourself from it?

1. What is pollen?

Pollen is a tiny, microscopic (dust-like) particle that comes from flowers (more precisely from the stamens, the male organs of flowers) to fertilize the female organs, the pistils. All flowering plants produce pollen, and pollen spreads through the air when there is wind.

During the pollination period, pollen forms into a volatile dust. Pollen can cause allergic reactions in many people, such as seasonal rhinitis.

The number of pollen allergies increases every year. In France, about 30% of the adult population is allergic to pollen, 11 to 17% of teenagers and 6 to 9% of children. Allergies involve one or more types of pollen and each can lead to different allergic reactions.

2. What are the different types of pollen?

Two main families can be distinguished:

  • Entomophilous pollens: produced by plants with colorful and fragrant flowers, which are spread in the air, often carried by insects.
  • Anemophilous pollens: produced by odourless plants, they spread in the air and cause many allergic reactions. Among these, we distinguish three main categories of pollens:
  1. Grass pollens, responsible for 75% of allergies.
  2. Tree pollens, the most allergenic of which are: cypress, birch, oak, ash, plane tree, hornbeam, alder, olive tree.
  3. Herbaceous pollens, the most allergenic of which are: ragweed and mugwort.

At what times of the year is pollen most present in the air?

The pollen season generally runs from March to September. However, not all pollens appear at the same time of the year.

  • Birch spreads pollen during the months of March and April. 
  • L'Ambroisie in August and September. In April, the pollen count is highest, with cypress, plane tree, birch, oak and ash.

For people with allergies, it is therefore necessary to be careful and to protect oneself from pollen for many months depending on the different pollens present in the air.

What are the allergic reactions?

Pollen particularly affects the nose, eyes and lungs. The pollens involved in allergic reactions are most often anemophilic (airborne) pollens, which are the lightest. Pollen comes into contact with the mucous membranes, the individual's immune system recognizes the pollen and triggers an allergic reaction.

Reactions can be various:

  • For the nose: a seasonal rhinitis appears with violent and repetitive sneezing, runny nose...
  • For the eyes: tearing, redness, itching (in the inner corner of the eyes), conjunctival edema...
  • For the lungs: asthma
  • For the skin: hives

What does MASK Generation do against pollen?

MASK Generation has created a new generation mask that filters fine particles of pollution to 0.3 microns.

The smallest pollen particles are larger than 7 microns and are therefore filtered by the anti-pollen mask. Wearing the mask is not necessary for skin reactions, but it can relieve pulmonary or nasal reactions (gardening, cycling ...).