Why are dust allergies so common in Dubai?

Nearly one in ten residents of Dubai suffer from some kind of allergy. The most prevalent is allergic rhinitis – which is irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose. Common symptoms are but not limited to stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip. The inflammation is triggered by allergens, most commonly by dust mites due to the excessive humidity and pollen.

Living in the middle of the desert, we can expect to have some issues with dust now and then, but how can we look after our health and make sure it doesn’t become problematic? Dr. Esther has the low down for us.

One of our most common calls that we receive here with Health at Hand is people struggling with allergies and asthma related complaints.

The sandstorms are the biggest trigger of asthma attacks and allergic rhinitis, due to the presence of dust mites and we are noticing new cases of this on a weekly basis, even in people with no previous allergy history.

We recommend, when the weather is bad, that you try and stay indoors as much as possible. If a trip outside is necessary, use a face mask (which you can get from any pharmacy), or cover your mouth and nose with a scarf. This will keep out the fine particles, which are the cause of the symptoms.

At home, keep on top of your chores, vacuuming and using a damp cloth to clean surfaces to keep dust at bay. You might also find it useful to avoid household items that can trap dusts like rugs and carpets, stuffed toys, and pieces of furniture made from fabric and opt for allergen-proof bed covers and an indoor air purifier, which you can pick up easily in any hypermarket or online.

If you are someone that is affected by this frequently, there is also a really helpful free app that you can download called Plume Air Report. The app will help you understand the quality of the air, and know when to avoid certain areas of town on windy days.

The most important thing is to consult with a doctor if you experience any wheezing or breathlessness or any of the symptoms mentioned.

Dr Esther Diaro

General Practitioner

If you are struggling with allergies, download the Health at Hand app today and speak to one of our qualified doctors.