x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Summer heat to blame for spike in allergies, say UAE doctors

Doctors are advising those susceptible to dust allergies are closely monitored as the summer heat ramps up.

Reactions to dust allergies are largely down to the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, moulds and hives that thrive in hot and humid environments. Antonie Robertson / The National
Reactions to dust allergies are largely down to the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, moulds and hives that thrive in hot and humid environments. Antonie Robertson / The National

It is a perennial problem and one that refuses to go away — and is a particular nuisance at the height of summer.

Doctors are advising those susceptible to dust allergies are closely monitored as the summer heat ramps up, with reactions largely down to the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, moulds and hives that thrive in hot and humid environments.

Allergic rhinitis is now thought to affect between 10 and 30 per cent of the global population, with Dr Ali Akbar, head of the dermatology department at the Dubai Canadian Specialist Hospital, claiming symptoms are often misdiagnosed as a cold.

“Allergies can build up over time in people who have the potential to become allergic to a substance,” he said.

“Allergies can vary from mild reactions to severe, life threatening ones. The severe ones are characterised by more intense symptoms along with abnormal and difficult breathing, chest tightness, anxiety, swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue, and racing heart.

“These symptoms can lead to loss of consciousness and are life-threatening.”

The soaring heat and a dusty environment of summer leads to an increase in inhaled sand particles causing severe cases of allergy.

Most misconceive allergy rhinitis as a common cold and seek cold remedies due to similarities between the symptoms for the two.

In case of an allergy, the symptoms develop immediately and last for more than 10 days, the person may often suffer from itchy or watery eyes. On the other hand, a common cold would last less than 10 days and the sufferer may feel muscle aches.

In case of a dust allergy, the most important practice is to decrease the exposure to environmental allergens by reducing the humidity in the house. Always use air conditioner or air purifier and keep outdoor activities scheduled at the end of the day.

Avoid carpets, pets, cover mattresses and pillows so there won’t be any contamination with moulds and dust mites. Vacuum cleaning the house properly to avoid dust is also recommended.

“If you experience any of these symptoms it is better to consult your physician immediately,” said Dr Akbar.