By Mark H. Moss MD, Randy J. Horwitz MD, PhD, Robert F. Lemanske Jr. MD (auth.), Phil Lieberman MD, John A. Anderson MD (eds.)
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Additional info for Allergic Diseases: Diagnosis and Treatment
Pollen contains the male genetic material of a plant and is released from mature Chapter 4 I Environmental Allergens 43 Plant Pollens • The type of pollens responsible for seasonal allergies tend to be small, light, and windblown. They are dispersed in large numbers from plants that have small, nondiscrete flowers. • The specific "pollinating seasons" for different tree, grass, or weed plant species vary within different areas of the country. • Airborne concentration of pollens depends on the weather.
Weather conditions greatly influence the airborne concentrations of these particles. Pollination and mold sporulation require warmth and are highest at midday and on warm days. Particle concentration increases with increasing wind speed, but in gusty winds these particles may be swept into the upper atmosphere, reducing ground exposure. In the cool, calm evening hours, these particles may resettle toward the ground, increasing exposure. Surprisingly, the brisk rainfall caused by thunderstorms does not reduce the airborne pollen and spore levels, while long periods of rainfall can act to scour these particles and reduce exposure.
However, tonsils do not predict presence or hypertrophy of adenoids. The oropharynx should be scrutinized for drainage or raised islands of lymphoid tissue (lymphoid hyperplasia) often seen in smokers or profound atopies. Lastly, estimation of the depth and width of the pharynx may lead to suspicion of obstructive sleep apnea. For those patients taking inhaled corticosteroids, thrush on the tongue and soft palate should be excluded at each visit. The neck must be palpated to search for adenopathy.
Allergic Diseases: Diagnosis and Treatment by Mark H. Moss MD, Randy J. Horwitz MD, PhD, Robert F. Lemanske Jr. MD (auth.), Phil Lieberman MD, John A. Anderson MD (eds.)