PREVENTION TIPS

TIPS TO DEAL WITH ALLERGENS

Tips to deal with allergens

(mould, pet fur and dust mites)

In this article, we provide a few tips and tricks to help you deal with mould, pets and dust mites.26

What can be done to avoid pet allergy?26

Tip 1
The best remedy for pet allergy is to remove the pet in question from home.

Tip 2
If pets cause only minor problems, consider establishing certain rooms in the house, such as your bedroom, as pet-free zones.

How can you get rid of mould?26

Tip 1
Remove visible mould through cleaning with bleach or other mould reduction cleaners

Tip 2
Ensure adequate natural ventilation. Put those extractor fans to use!

Tip 3
Seal those abandoned leaks in your bathroom and roofs.

Tip 4
Get rid of indoor pot plants that promote the growth of mold

Tip 5
Avoid having wet carpets at home.

What can be done about those invisible dust mites?26

Tip 1
Wash sheets, pillow cases and other bedding weekly in hot water. This will kill dust mites.

Tip 2
Wash sheets, pillow cases and other bedding weekly in hot water. This will kill dust mites.

Tip 3
Remove all soft toys from the bed and bedroom. Replace them with wooden or plastic toys which can be
washed.

Tip 4
If possible, consider replacing carpets with hard floors such as wood, tiles, linoleum, concrete, where practical and affordable.

Tip 5
Damp dust or use electrostatic cloths to clean hard surfaces (including hard floors) weekly.

Tip 6
Vacuum carpets weekly. However, vacuuming increases the amount of house dust mite allergen in the air for up to 20 minutes. So, if possible, ask someone else to do the vacuuming and wait 20 minutes before re-entering the room.

Tip 7
Reduce humidity – Where possible, have a dry and well-ventilated house and adequate floor and wall insulation.

Tip 8
Windows – Venetian blinds or flat blinds are easier to clean than heavy curtains. Other options include washable curtains or external shutters.

The impact of pollution on

the rising incidence of allergic rhinitis

The incidence of allergic diseases in most industrialized countries has increased. Research suggests a causative relationship between air pollution and the increased incidence of allergic rhinitis, asthma and other allergic disorders.23

Research on Prevalence of AR in the Middle East
Researchers from the Middle East have commented on a number of factors that may have contributed to the rise in the prevalence of AR over recent decades:25

  1. Irrigation for agriculture of previously desert zones;
  2. The ornamental “greening” of desert cities with often imported plants;
  3. The increased use of air-conditioning in dwellings, which allows dust mites to be present even in the hot, arid desert climate…
  4. …and more generally, a progressive shift to many aspects of a western lifestyle.25

In addition to that, researchers attribute the rise of incidence of allergic rhinitis in the GCC countries to the discovery of oil and the concomitant industrialized changes, rise in pollution and variations in
the environmental landscape.24

The broad variety of aeroallergens in the Middle East is related to the differing climates and indoor environments encountered across the region.25

Types of allergens observed in the Middle East
The Middle East is stereotypically considered to have a dry, arid, desert-like, with hot summers, mild dry winters and almost no rainfall.25 While this is true of much of the land masses of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, these countries also have coastal regions that experience a subtropical or Mediterranean climate and/or mountainous regions that experience lower summer temperatures and colder, wetter winters. 25Some authors have speculated that specific weather features (such as sandstorms) may influence aeroallergen exposure and sensitization. 25

A very wide range of indoor and outdoor allergens have been observed across the region.

These include several types of house dust mites and storage mites, dander from animals, spores from moulds, insect allergens and pollens from hundreds of different grasses, weeds, shrubs, and trees.25

A study has shown that the most common allergens in the GCC were dust, followed by smoke, food, pollen and animal fur/hair (cats, dogs, and birds) respectively.24