40 dust-related cases registered at HMC over the weekend
With the wave of dust sweeping across the city in the past few weeks, sinus allergies and respiratory ailments among residents are on the rise.
In a press statement issued by Hamad Medical Corporation, Dr Ankush Pathare, Emergency Physician at Hamad General Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department has advised residents to take the following precautions during dust storms:
- Avoid outdoors, especially during high winds or low visibility when the dust levels are particularly harmful. Keep your windows and doors closed.
- When outdoors, use a mask or damp cloth to cover your nose and mouth to reduce inhalation of particles of dust.
- When driving, keep the car’s windows closed.
- Wear protective eye gear such as airtight goggles. If your eyes become irritated, rinse with water. Never rub your eyes as it may cause infection, which is common during this season. Those wearing contact lenses should be even more careful.
- People suffering from dust-related allergies should start using their antihistamines during this season, even before the symptoms start.
According to Dr Pathare, people mostly under the risk of contracting respiratory infection include infants and young children, the elderly, people with a history of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other respiratory conditions, people with heart disease, pregnant women, and people who have to work outdoors, such as construction or delivery workers.
Some of the common symptoms of allergies, he says, are watering of the eyes, cough, wheezing or asthma, for which patients should visit their Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs). For more severe symptoms such as trouble in breathing or coughing up green sputum which are indicative of lung infection, patients are requested to go to the Emergency Department.