Doctors are urging UAE residents to use face masks to prevent allergies resulting from sandstorms and the expected weather changes in the coming days.
Respiratory and skin allergies are likely to increase in the coming days as the mercury dips further and strong winds whip up fine sand particles, they say.
“It is expected that dust allergies will increase since winter is approaching,” said Dr Manisha Phadke, General Practitioner at Ali Medical Centre in Deira.
“Cases of normal flu can also become aggravated and turn into conditions such as bronchitis or asthma. So I recommend that people use face masks to prevent fine dust particles from entering the nasal passages,” she added.
According to General Practitioner Dr Ashok Cherian from Al Rafa Clinic, the number of patients with allergies, especially respiratory and skin allergies such as eczema and dermatitis had already increased over the past week.
“People have not yet adjusted to the change in weather and every second patient I see is suffering from a respiratory allergy,” he added.
Besides using masks, people should avoid sudden exposure to cold temperatures, they advise. “Cold drinks and food should be avoided especially in children since it can also cause stomach ailments such as gas lock and indigestion,” said Dr Manisha.
Inhaling steam, taking vitamin C and continuing antihistamine medicines can help soothe the conditions, they said.
On account of climate change and as the country moves into the winter season, Health Authority–Abu Dhabi issued health guidance for the public regarding the quality of indoor air.
Persistent and heavy rain is expected this weekend across the UAE following Tuesday’s dust storm, according to a Dubai weather forecaster.