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The pollen and allergies pod

The pollen and allergies pod

By Air Health Lab

🌼 The Pollen and Allergies Pod 🌼

Welcome to "The Pollen and Allergies Pod," your go-to resource for mastering the world of allergies and asthma. Created by the experts behind Melbourne Pollen, Air Rater, and Allergy Pal, this podcast is a lifeline for anyone impacted by hay fever, food allergies, or asthma.

🎙️ What to Expect 🎙️

Expert interviews from leading allergists to meteorologists.
Actionable tips to minimize or avoid symptoms.
Real-life stories and the latest treatment updates.
Learn to navigate the tricky terrain of allergens and reclaim the joys of everyday life. Subscribe now
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Currently playing episode

Ask me anything Asthma with Asthma Educator, Narelle Williamson

The pollen and allergies podOct 08, 2023

Unraveling Pet Allergies & More with Dr Bronwyn Oke (Chief Veterinary Officer - RSPCA Victoria)

Unraveling Pet Allergies & More with Dr Bronwyn Oke (Chief Veterinary Officer - RSPCA Victoria)

Pet allergies are a vast and often misunderstood domain. From the household cat that sneezes with the change of seasons to the dog that can't stop scratching after a park visit, Dr. Bronwyn Oke, Chief Veterinary Officer at RSPCA Victoria, sheds light on the intricate world of allergies in our pets.
While hay fever might be commonly associated with humans, did you know that dogs and cats can be similarly affected by pollen and other environmental triggers? Beyond just the sneezing, allergies in pets can manifest in various ways, leading to skin irritations, dietary issues, and behavioral changes.
In this episode, Dr. Oke delves into the causes of allergic reactions in both cats and dogs, the subtle signs that might indicate your pet is suffering, and the best interventions to ensure their well-being.
Arm yourself with knowledge about the array of allergens affecting our four-legged friends and the steps you can take to help them lead a comfortable life. Whether you're troubleshooting a specific issue or just wanting to be prepared, this episode provides crucial information for every pet owner. Dive in and discover a world where understanding pet allergies means ensuring a happier, healthier life for your furry companions.


 0:00:00  - Introduction  

Pet health and understanding common issues.

 0:01:13  - The Basics of Pet Allergies  

Common allergies are in pets and the importance of recognising signs early on.

 0:03:25  - How Diet Affects Pet Health  

The link between diet and allergies, the importance of hypoallergenic foods, and how changing a pet's diet can make a difference.

 0:06:50  - The Impact of Itchiness on Pets  

Discussion about the significance of understanding the reason behind a pet's itchiness and the effects on a pet's quality of life.

 0:09:00  - Fleas, Ticks, and Parasites  

Discussion about where pets might pick up fleas and mites, especially in the countryside from wild animals.

 0:16:20  - Diagnosing Skin Issues in Pets  

in-house procedures like skin scrapes and tape preps vets use to identify parasites or bacterial infections.

 0:18:45  - Innovations in Pet Health  

 0:23:30  - Supporting the RSPCA  

Nov 02, 202326:30
Viral induced wheezing, with Professor Sarath Ranganathan

Viral induced wheezing, with Professor Sarath Ranganathan

In this episode, Professor Sarath Ranganathan delves into the intricate world of viral induced wheezing in children. With a wealth of expertise in pediatric respiratory health, Professor Ranganathan takes us on a journey through the anatomy of the respiratory system, explaining how airways function and how wheezing manifests.

Discover the nuances of this common childhood condition, as Professor Ranganathan deciphers the potential causes, ranging from narrow airways to inflammation. Gain valuable insights into the diagnosis process for children under five, and learn why recurrence and trigger identification are crucial for understanding and managing the condition.

Intrigued by medical terminology? Professor Ranganathan clarifies the distinctions between viral induced wheezing and other respiratory issues like croup, providing a clear roadmap for concerned parents and caregivers. Tune in to learn about the prognosis for children with this condition and the potential impacts on their lung function as they grow.

Explore treatment options, including the use of medications like inhaled corticosteroids, and gain a comprehensive understanding of their benefits and potential side effects. Join us for a thoughtful discussion that balances the concerns of parents with the expertise of a seasoned medical professional.

If you're a parent, caregiver, or simply curious about childhood respiratory health, this episode is packed with valuable information. Listen now and empower yourself with knowledge about viral induced wheezing in children, guided by the expertise of Professor Sarath Ranganathan.

 Show Notes: Viral-Induced Wheezing in Children with Professor Ranganathan 

-  [00:00:10]  Introduction to the topic of wheezing in children and Professor Ranganathan.

-  [00:01:25]  Explanation of what wheezing is and its relevance to children's health.

-  [00:03:15]  The difference between wheezing and stridor.

-  [00:05:40]  The anatomy of the lung and the growth process of a child's lungs.

-  [00:07:20]  How lung development in premature babies might be affected.

-  [00:09:35]  How a diagnosis is generally made based on a child's symptoms.

-  [00:11:50]  The significance of cough and its differentiation from wheezing.

-  [00:13:30]  How different triggers can induce wheezing, including pollen season, and environmental conditions.

-  [00:18:51]  Further exploration into croup and its viral triggers.

-  [00:19:37]  The causative factors behind coughing in children.

-  [00:20:01]  Discussing the seasonality of asthma triggers and how it affects kids.

-  [00:21:00]  The challenges in diagnosing asthma in young children.

-  [00:22:20]  The effectiveness and importance of preventive measures.

-  [00:23:07]  Ongoing research on treatments and understanding the inflammation process in wheezing children.

-  [00:24:54]  The role of biomarkers in studying wheezing and potential indicators for future wheezing tendencies.

-  [00:26:43]  Difficulties in researching and analyzing the minuscule structure of the lungs in children.

-  [00:27:25]  The prognosis for children with viral-induced wheezing and potential long-term effects.

-  [00:29:55]  Recommendations for parents noticing symptoms in their children.

-  [00:32:39]  Insights on the side effects and implications of steroid treatments.

-  [00:34:06]  Encouraging the audience to contribute to research and a brief discussion about funding for research.

-  [00:36:59]  Wrapping up the conversation with hopes for future research directions.

Oct 10, 202337:07
Ask me anything Asthma with Asthma Educator, Narelle Williamson

Ask me anything Asthma with Asthma Educator, Narelle Williamson

In this insightful episode, join us as we sit down with renowned Asthma Educator, Narelle Williamson, to delve into the world of allergies and asthma. Narelle, a trusted expert from the National Asthma Council, shares invaluable advice on managing allergies, reducing triggers, and optimizing asthma treatment.

Discover the secrets behind the Sensitive Choice Program, a pioneering initiative helping you identify asthma and allergy-friendly products. Learn how a simple blue butterfly emblem can guide you to a healthier, allergen-controlled lifestyle.

Narelle sheds light on the intricate links between asthma, eczema, and hay fever, providing crucial insights for individuals navigating these conditions. With her wealth of experience, she emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and proper management.

As the conversation unfolds, we explore the impact of air quality on respiratory health, especially in western suburbs. Gain practical tips on minimizing exposure to allergens and pollution, ensuring a safer environment for you and your family.

Stay ahead of pollen season with expert advice on tracking pollen forecasts and preventing thunderstorm asthma episodes. Narelle highlights the importance of timely medication, empowering you to take charge of your health proactively.

For comprehensive resources and educational content, visit the National Asthma Council website and equip yourself with the knowledge to breathe easier. Whether you're a parent, caregiver, or someone managing allergies and asthma, this episode is a must-listen.

Tune in now and embark on a journey towards better respiratory health with Narelle Williamson, your trusted guide in asthma education. Don't miss out on this invaluable conversation!

Oct 08, 202330:23
Dr Katie Allen - understanding and managing allergies

Dr Katie Allen - understanding and managing allergies

Embark on a journey of discovery with Dr. Katie Allen, a distinguished expert shedding light on the intricacies of allergies and asthma. In this insightful episode, Dr. Allen unveils the inner workings of our lungs and how they act as vigilant sentinels, sensing foreign particles and initiating allergic responses.

Delving further, Dr. Allen deciphers the diverse array of asthma triggers, from seasonal pollens to household culprits like pets and dust mites. With clarity and precision, she demystifies non-allergic asthma, offering a comprehensive understanding of this pervasive condition.

Dr. Allen underscores the paramount importance of seeking professional advice when faced with symptoms like allergic rhinitis or conjunctivitis. The conversation takes an enlightening turn as she elaborates on the critical role of accurate diagnosis in steering towards effective treatment.

Discover the significance of tailored treatment plans and how the right medication can make a world of difference. Dr. Allen shares valuable insights on adjusting antihistamine schedules to align with seasonal triggers, empowering individuals to take charge of their health.

Explore the world of pollen apps, including the Melbourne Pollen service and the Allergy Pal app. Dr. Allen affirms their pivotal role in diagnosis and treatment, offering a valuable resource for those navigating the intricate landscape of allergies and asthma.

In a heartening call to personalize healthcare, Dr. Allen urges listeners to leverage available services for customized treatment plans. Concluding with a treasure trove of tips and tricks for symptom management, she empowers individuals to reclaim control over their well-being.

Podcast Show Notes: Understanding Allergies and Asthma with Dr. Katie Allen


- Brief introduction to the topic and the guest, Dr. Katie Allen.



- **The Lung's Role in Allergic Reactions**  

  - Dr. Katie Allen discusses how the lungs "sample and taste" foreign particles, triggering allergic reactions and attracting immune system cells like eosinophils.


- **Different Types and Triggers of Asthma**  

  - Dr. Allen talks about the various triggers for asthma such as pollens, pets, and dust mites. She also mentions non-allergic asthma.


- **Seek Medical Advice for Symptoms**  

  - Importance of consulting with a doctor for testing and diagnosis if you're experiencing symptoms like allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis.


- **Importance of Accurate Diagnosis**  

  - Sam asks why it's important to talk to a doctor. Dr. Allen emphasizes the importance of accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


- **Get the Right Treatment**  

  - Dr. Allen talks about the importance of getting the right medication for your specific condition and symptoms.


- **Seasonal Triggers and Precautions**  

  - Dr. Allen discusses how antihistamine timing can be adjusted based on specific seasonal triggers.


- **The Role of Pollen Apps**  

  - Sam mentions the Melbourne Pollen service and Allergy Pal app for tracking symptoms, and Dr. Allen confirms their utility in diagnosis and treatment.


- **Personalizing Healthcare**  

  - Dr. Allen encourages taking advantage of available healthcare services for tailored treatment.


- **Tips and Tricks for Managing Symptoms**  

  - Dr. Allen gives advice on minimizing triggers through lifestyle changes and testing.


- **Thunderstorm Asthma**  

  - Dr. Allen warns about the risks associated with thunderstorm asthma and recommends immediate medical attention for symptoms.


- **Closing Remarks and Background on Melbourne Pollen**  

  - Sam and Dr. Allen discuss the history and importance of the Melbourne Pollen service.


- **Farewell**  

  - Sam thanks Dr. Katie Allen for the informative session.

Sep 20, 202320:08
How we count and forecast pollen

How we count and forecast pollen

Dive into a compelling discussion on the art and science of pollen forecasting in this episode. Join Dr Edwin (Ed) Lampugnani as he discusses the pivotal role of accurate pollen predictions and dissects the current state of forecasting technologies.

Beginning with the cornerstone of localized pollen data, Ed underscores its paramount importance for crafting precise forecasts specific to Australia. Delve into the intriguing world of forecasting methodologies, where questions arise about how forecasts can be created without any pollen count data. Ed speculates on alternative models while emphasizing the unmatched accuracy derived from real pollen data. Validation of the accuracy of pollen forecasts takes center stage as the rigorous process of collecting data and confirming the accuracy of the forecasts is explained. Ed sheds light on Melbourne Pollen and Air Health's unwavering commitment to validating forecasts, particularly on high-risk days that are rare yet of paramount significance.

Explore the dynamic collaboration between the Pollen Count and Forecast Service and key players like the Bureau of Meteorology and State Health Departments. Uncover how grass pollen forecasts seamlessly integrate with meteorological data to furnish thunderstorm asthma risk levels.

Show Notes:


- Discussion about the importance of accurate pollen forecasting and the state of current technologies and methodologies in the field.


[00:12:13] Importance of Local Pollen Data

- Ed emphasizes the significance of collecting localized pollen data in Australia for generating accurate forecasts.

[00:12:24] Methodologies for Forecasting

- Sam questions how forecasts can be created without actual pollen count data.

- Ed speculates that other models may be using temperature, seasonality, or meteorological data but questions their accuracy without actual pollen counts.

[00:12:57] Validating Data and Forecasts

- Sam asks about the validation process for the data collected and forecasts made.

- Ed discusses how their organization, Melbourne Pollen and Air Health, places great emphasis on validating their forecasts, especially for high and extreme days which are rare but crucial.

[00:13:46] Collaboration with Bureau of Meteorology and State Health Departments

- Sam queries the role Melbourne Pollen plays in thunderstorm asthma forecasts.

- Ed elaborates on how their grass pollen forecasts are integrated with meteorological data to generate thunderstorm asthma risk levels.

[00:15:31] Future of Pollen Counting Technology

- Sam questions the outlook for pollen counting in the next 5-10 years.

- Ed expresses excitement for potential technological advances, like more affordable and accurate automated pollen monitors.

[00:16:42] Possibility of Home Sensors

- Sam raises the idea of having validated sensors in homes.

- Ed shows enthusiasm for the idea and talks about how it could be a natural extension of their current work, linking both outdoor and indoor air quality to symptoms and well-being.


- The conversation highlights the critical role of accurate pollen forecasts in public health and safety and the promising future of the field as technology advances.

Sep 20, 202317:25
What is pollen with A/Prof Ed Newbigin

What is pollen with A/Prof Ed Newbigin

In this episode, A/prof Ed Newbigin enlightens us on the intricate world of pollen—its forms, functions, and impact on plant mating seasons. A must-listen for anyone curious about the role of pollen in the plant kingdom and how it influences our environment.

🌼 Unlocking the Secrets of Pollen: Nature's Tiny Matchmakers 🌼

Join us for a fascinating journey into the world of pollen with Associate Professor Ed Newbigin. In this episode, we dive deep into the intricate details of what pollen really is, how it functions in plant reproduction, and why some people develop allergies to it.

Discover the beauty of pollen grains under a microscope and learn how plants have evolved to use wind or animals like bees for their pollination needs. Explore the science behind different pollen seasons, the impact of climate and geography, and why allergies vary from person to person.

If you've ever wondered why pollen counts matter or how to manage pollen allergies, this episode is packed with insights and practical tips to help you navigate pollen season and breathe easier.

Tune in and gain a new appreciation for these tiny, often underestimated particles that play a significant role in the natural world and in our daily lives. 🌿🤧 #PollenScience #Allergies #NatureInsights


### Introduction

- **[00:00:00]** Start

- **[00:00:07]** Sam introduces the topic and asks Ed, "What is pollen?"

### What is Pollen?

- **[00:00:10]** Ed draws a comparison between pollen and human sperm and explains its role in plant reproduction.

### Pollen Under the Microscope

- **[00:00:45]** Sam inquires about the microscopic appearance of pollen.

- **[00:00:47]** Ed describes the diverse shapes and sizes of pollen grains and mentions two broad types.

### Types of Pollen Transmission

- **[00:01:21]** Ed explains the adaptations in animal-transported pollen grains vs. wind-transported.

- **[00:02:27]** Ed clears up that pollen grains aren't individual cells but cells within cells, like "Russian dolls."

### Pollinators and Pollen

- **[00:03:18]** Sam asks for examples of pollen carried by animals.

- **[00:03:36]** Ed talks about how flowers attract animal pollinators.


### Grass Pollen and Allergies

- **[00:06:13]** Sam discusses how common ryegrass pollen allergies are.

- **[00:06:26]** Ed describes identifying if ryegrass is pollinating.

### Pollen Seasons

- **[00:08:06]** Sam mentions the varying pollen seasons in different regions, as noted by Nick Osborne.

- **[00:08:36]** Ed explains how the climate and geography affect the timing of pollen seasons.


### Timing of Plant Mating

- **[00:09:29]** Sam wonders if plants prefer mating seasons.

- **[00:09:32]** Ed explains the different factors influencing a plant's "mate" or release pollen.

### Predicting Pollen Seasons

- **[00:10:55]** Sam asks about predicting pollen seasons using data and models.


## Outro

That wraps up this informative episode on pollen, its varieties, and how it finds its way from one plant to another. Thank you for listening!

Sep 12, 202321:42