In today's diverse world, there are few things that one can say every human being has in common. One of those things is allergies, and bringing awareness to them is World Allergy Week from June 13 to 19, coined by the World Allergy Organization (WAO). This year the focus was on anaphylaxis, a possibly fatal allergic reaction that occurs when a person's immune system has been triggered to recognise a substance as a threat to the body. Airways get constricted, which result in breathing and consciousness issues. As this can occur anywhere, at any time, WAO recommends that anyone prone to such reactions should make an emergency plan, keep it with them and share it with close friends and family.
One factor that is a huge contributor to allergies, especially seasonal allergies, is the air we breathe. Every minute, humans inhale six litres of air. What we inhale must be the purest possible air because it nourishes the lungs, the blood and, subsequently, the rest of the organs.
Shockingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that indoor air is five to ten times worse than that outdoors. All these can cause allergies that affect the functioning of the respiratory tract in the short and long run.
This is especially alarming considering the pandemic at the moment. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, adversely affecting the functioning of the lungs and reduces the organ's capacity multi-fold.
As Allergy Awareness Week concludes, lets to look at the various factors that contribute to allergies within an area one can control - inside the home.
In the UAE, due to the scorching heat, most of our time is spent indoors and thus our exposure to indoor allergens also increases. Inside homes, the common allergens are dust mites, chemicals used in detergents, smoke, fragrances and pet hair among many others. Especially with the air conditioning systems always turned on at home, the office and in the car, allergies and infections are bound to occur if the vents are not cleaned regularly.
According to Dr Anup Kumar Agrawal, Specialist Pulmonologist at Lifecare Hospital, the respiratory disorders caused and aggravated by breathing low-quality air are bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory infections, allergic rhinosinusitis and even lung cancer. In the UAE the most common are asthma and allergic rhinosinusitis. Over14per cent of UAE residents suffer from asthma and up to one-fifth of the population may suffer from a form of allergy.
Dr Agrawal elucidates that by using air purifiers, which remove harmful pollutants, proper cross ventilation and cleaning AC vents, the surrounding air can be made cleaner, at least at home. It is important not only for humans but is also for environment friendly. It decreases the incidence and progression of various respiratory diseases and improves the overall quality of life.
A world-class air purifier is Blueair. Its units, with two versions for the home and the car, use HEPASilent technology, removing 99.97 per cent of all harmful particles in a room, so one can sleep well, wake up happy, drive around with clean air and remain focused all day even if they are suffering from allergies.