Proteins love your lungs!!!
Well, kind of…proteins released by airborne pollen grains will trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. This is what we call rhinitis or seasonal allergies. Seasonal rhinitis is a major health problem in industrialized societies. Its incidence in North America is estimated between 10-30%. And pollen allergies are on the rise!
Most seasonal allergy symptoms are only bothersome (runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, and watering eyes). But allergies to tree and grass pollen exacerbate asthma symptoms, and even lead to hospitalization. In Europe, a survey showed that 74-81% of asthma patients also reported rhinitis.
Ongoing research projects
Title: The relationship between airborne pollen concentrations and emergency visits in Sherbrooke, between 2007 and 2009.
Title: Increasing trends in ragweed pollen in Sherbrooke 2006-2016.
Funding from: Bishop’s University Senate Research Committee Research Grant
Co-investigator: Dr. Lourdes Zubieta
For this project, we are using data from the Lennoxville Pollen Monitoring project to see if higher airborne pollen concentrations cause an increase in the number of emergency visits due to respiratory problems.
Research opportunities exist for students with an interest about pollen and allergies.