Individual pollen exposure measurements: are they feasible?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of the recent review is to give insight into recent attempts to measure individual pollen exposure and to give advice for interpreting such data.

Recent findings

It is well recognized that there are various challenges in monitoring the atmospheric content of pollen in the air. Although pollen data gathered by Hirst type spore traps and evaluated by human expertise are of inestimable value because of long-time data series and as the basic foundation for pollen information services as well as for diagnosis and therapy of pollen allergies, there is a need for more precise information for individual pollen allergy sufferers. Different types of individual pollen exposure measurement samplers are presented, and estimates are offered.

Summary

Further developments, especially standardization of personal pollen samplers, are needed. Improvements should lead to more usability. Because of a variety of factors, a pollen count will always stay a pollen count, and a pollen forecast is not a symptom forecast, something pollen allergy sufferers actually desire. Thus, a different promising path to individualized pollen information was recently chosen: personal pollen information is now possible based on personal symptom data and regional pollen data. In future, personal pollen data could complete this achievement.

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