Airborne Plant Allergens


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Of all the allergens out there in the world, airborne plant allergens such as pollens, moulds and spores are the most difficult to avoid. Short of living in an artificial environment, we all have to go outside at some point and are thus at risk of exposure. Every year, at seasonal times, plants will produce pollen (fungi and microscopic fungi called moulds will produce spores) in order to reproduce. In some cases pollens and spores are released into the air until they find a suitable place in which to germinate. Insects also help plants to cross-fertilise by moving from plant to plant and transferring the pollen to other plants. It is when we inhale these airborne particles that an allergic response is triggered and the immune system jumps into action. Grasses, flowers, trees, weeds and fungus are the most common causes of airborne allergic reactions and are commonly referred to as hay fever.