Medical experts in Kuwait warn that sandstorms, along with humidity that causes you to sweat during summer and brings about clammy conditions in winter, are among the environmental triggers that aggravate asthma and other respiratory illnesses in the region.
Several studies conducted in the Arabian Peninsula countries with a high rate of sandstorms, have confirmed the increased prevalence of asthma in those countries, said Dr. Mohamed Samir, Regional Medical Director, Mundipharma, Middle East & Africa Region.
Pointing out that sandstorms frequently cause adverse health effects on the respiratory function, Dr. Samir said that just 15 minutes exposure to smaller-sized sandstorm dust particles have a greater potential to exacerbate asthma.
Though asthma requires long term treatment, it can be managed if proper and timely precautions are taken. Dr. Samir recommends that asthma patients remain indoors during sandstorms and reduce their exposure to common allergens that may provoke asthmatic attacks during sandstorms.
He also warns that dust which collects in air conditioning vents can be a harmful trigger if they are not regularly maintained and cleaned every six months. He recommends the use of an air purifier as they help remove allergens and particles that trigger asthma symptoms. Finally, he says that people should stay hydrated during sandstorms and spray water on face and eyes if they come in direct contact with dust.