Yellow Dust and Pollen, Enemies of Spring
Yellow Dust and Pollen, Enemies of Spring
  • Reporter Ye-jin Reo
  • 승인 2012.04.11 19:32
  • 댓글 0
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The picnic season finally came. With April there is relief from the cold on the Han peninsula. It is great to see flowers blooming, making people livelier; however, there is one uninvited guest that always comes around this time of the year: spring allergy. Caused by either yellow dust clouds or pollen, many suffer from spring allergies. In order to find out about its symptoms and precautions, The Postech Times visited the in-school health aid, Mi-jeong Seo in the infirmary, located on the second floor of the Student Union Building.
<Editor? Comment>

The Causes

①Yellow dust
The origin of yellow dust is a desert area in China and Mongolia, which is spreading fast due to the large scale of pasturing and deforestation. The reason why it only causes a problem in spring is that the dust starts to be blown to Korea with the wind as the frozen land melts in spring. Moreover, dust picks up toxic substances such as lead, sulfurous acid, and copper as it passes over the industrial cities before reaching Korea.  

Many people think that a pollen allergy is caused by a number of well known spring flowers such as magnolias, cherry trees, and tulips. However, they are entomophilous flowers, meaning that their pollen is delivered by bugs. On the other hand, anemophilous flowers like pine trees, white birch, and locust trees spread their pollen by wind, thereby causing pollen allergy.


How these make bodies react

Allergens enter a body and the body produces Immuno- globuline E which is a specific type of antibodies on the membrane of master cells. In these cells, there is the chemical Histamine which causes allergy breakout. If allergens keep coming into the body, the body reacts with the antibodies, resulting in destruction of the membrane of the master cells and so releasing Histamine out of the cells. Finally, because of Histamine, the person suffers from spring allergy symptoms.
The following are made-up situations which summarize advice Ms. Seo gave to four patients enduring spring allergies.
Patient 1: Ms. Seo, I sometimes have a sore throat and difficulty breathing.
Ms. Seo: Let me see your throat. It is swollen a lot. I think that you are suffering respiratory ailment due to yellow dust and pollen these days.
Patient 2: Then, What should I do?
Ms. Seo: Try not to go out on the days in which dust blows harshly. Then, close windows in the building to keep the dust from entering. You also need to drink enough water and control humidity and keep clean air in your room with air cleaner and humidifier.
Patient 2: Ms. Seo, in my case, my eyes itch constantly. If I rub them, some sticky things come out with tear.
Ms. Seo: Your eyes are congested. It must be epidemic conjunctivitis. Use glasses rather than contact lenses while suffering the symptoms. Once a day, clean your eyes with lukewarm water. Some people use salt water to clean them, but it is not preferred since it can stimulate your eyes even more.
Patient 3: Ms. Seo, I can’t inhale through my nose. Achoo! Can I get some tissue?
Ms. Seo: Here you go. It is rhinitis. Wear a mask before going outside and clean your nostrils with clean water after returning home. Oh, why are you scratching your skin intensely?
Patient 4: My body itches all over. I couldn’t sleep all night because of it.
Ms. Seo: There are many hives on your arm. Don’t wear sleeveless clothes outside and put some lotion on your whole body before leaving your room. It will protect your skin from direct contact with allergens. And, don’t forget to wash your hands and feet often.
Patients 1,2,3: Thank you Ms. Seo for giving us advice.
Ms. Seo: You are welcome. Tell your friends about what you heard from me today to prevent them from suffering spring allergies.