Coincidence of pollen season and coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: less time outdoors - lesser allergy symptoms in 2020


Sozener Z., Ozturk B. O., AYDIN Ö., DEMİREL Y. S., PINAR N. M., BAVBEK S., ...More

ASIA PACIFIC ALLERGY, no.2, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.5415/apallergy.2021.11.e16
  • Journal Name: ASIA PACIFIC ALLERGY
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Keywords: Allergic rhinitis, Pollen season, COVID-19 outbreak, Preventive measures, COVID-19, EYEGLASSES, RHINITIS
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Background: This year, pollen season coincided with the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Strict preventive measures have been implemented during April and May and then a normalization phase started in our country in June. Our aim is to evaluate the effect of preventive measures during the pandemic process on allergic airway disease symptoms. Methods: A prospective questionnaire-based study was planned and a questionnaire form was sent to the cell-phones of the subjects with pollen allergy followed in our clinic. Number of airborne grass pollens was determined by Burkard volumetric 7-day spore trap. Results: A total of 222 pollen allergic patients were included in the study. At the beginning of the pandemic, majority of the subjects were spending time mostly indoors. The rate of home-office workers gradually decreased and the rate of office workers and the number of days at work increased from April to June, significantly. Nasal and ocular symptoms of the patients, also increased in June compared to April and May and, approximately one-third of the patients had less symptoms when compared to the same period of the previous year. The rates of using a face mask and taking a shower on return home were high among the subjects during all season. Conclusion: Our study showed that spending less time outside during the pollen season and wearing a mask outdoors reduces exposure to pollens and causes a reduction in symptoms. Thus, strict application of measures that cannot be applied in daily practice can make a significant contribution to the management of seasonal allergic rhinitis.