Pollen Allergies – Phula’i 101. Symptoms and precautions.


If you’re reading this blog, it probably means that you have pollen allergies or you really want to avoid its occurrence by taking over the driver’s seat which, for the record, is a great thing to do!

Spring brings joy, colours and blossom in Kashmir. And truth be told, everyone cherishes the arrival of spring and everything it brings along. Spring gives a picturesque feeling except for the part where pollen allergies constantly pester with allergies and uneasiness. Pollen allergies also referred to Spring allergies come creating a nuisance.



Pollen is a fine powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower or from a male cone. Each grain contains a male gamete that can fertilize the female ovule, to which pollen is transported by the wind, insects, or other animals. Source: Wikipedia

Image result for pollen cotton
Source: Reuters

Known as phula’i in Kashmiri, pollens travel great miles due to their light weight and cottony structure. You may often sense an itch in the nostrils whenever you step outside your home and that may be just the start.

Following symptoms suggest you are allergic to Pollen Grains:
  1. Swelled eyes
  2. Red, itchy, watery eyes
  3. Itchy nose, eyes, ears and throat.
  4. Runny or stuffy nose
  5. Sneezing and nasal irritation
  6. Wheezing or coughing

Pollen allergies are conditions that are influenced due to the mucous membranes of the nose and the

eyes, often characterized by hypersensitivity to airborne pollen, such as the pollen of trees, grasses, and weeds.


These types of flora are known to cause pollen allergies:

Trees: Russain Poplar, Oak, Ash,  Mapel, Birch, Alder, Willow, Olive and Hickory.

Grasses: Ryegrass & Timothy

Weeds: Nettle, Mugwort, Ragweed, & Sorrel

Image result for pollen cotton kashmir
Source: Kashmir Observer
How to Avoid Pollen Impact:

Below are a few ways to decrease your exposure to pollen. This can help in taking control of pollen symptoms:

  • Limit being outdoors during early morning hours, viz 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Drive with the windows shut in order to prevent pollen exposure.
  • Sleep with the windows closed- that will limit pollen entering the home.
  • Avoid hanging laundry outside as it may indirectly expose you to pollen.
  • After being outdoors, take a quick shower and change your clothes so you are not vulnerable to pollen allergies for long.

While many admire the view of cottony balls floating around them, many are troubled with the thought of instantaneous vulnerabilities.

“Pollen often becomes a great deal of inconvenience to me and is the worst part of my spring break. What starts as extreme sneezing leads ultimately to severe headaches and dizziness. I prefer staying in to avoid any contact with pollen as such but unfortunately, that’s not always an option. We cannot let Pollen allergies paralyze us entirely so we go for precautionary measures” says Khushi, a resident of Brein.


Here are the PRECAUTIONS that may help you protect yourself against this airborne allergen:

  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with masks.
  • Wash hair after exposure to pollen.
  • Keep windows of vehicles and homes closed.
  • Discourage plantation of Russian poplar in residential areas.
  • Resist eating street food in the spring season.
  • Rinse nose with salt water if exposed to pollen allergy.
Image result for N95 mask
Source: Amazon

Let the advent of spring and an exotic bloom spread a glimmer of happiness. Grab N95 filter masks from your nearest pharmacy and keep yourself protected against pollen allergies in Kashmir. You can easily purchase these filter masks from any drug store or you may buy a discounted mask from illaaj healthcare.

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