Asthma

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic breathing disorder becoming very common in Dubai and the rest of the Middle East. Asthma symptoms include recurrent attacks of breathlessness, tiredness, coughing and wheezing. Some causes and triggers are common to all people with asthma, and some are more individual. Although the fundamental causes of asthma are not completely understood, the strongest risk factors for developing adult and kids asthma are inhaled asthma triggers. These include:

  • indoor allergens (for example house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture, pollution and pet dander)
  • outdoor allergens (such as pollens and moulds)
  • tobacco smoke
  • chemical irritants in the workplace
  • air pollution

Other asthma triggers can include cold air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear, and physical exercise. In some people, asthma can even be triggered by certain medications, such as aspirin and other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, and beta-blockers (which are used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions and migraine). Urbanization has also been associated with an increase in asthma symptoms, however the exact nature of this relationship is unclear. We additionally recommend the use of natural asthma home remedies for mild asthma symptoms. Asthma facts:

  • 235 million people suffer from asthma globally
  • Although asthma cannot be cured, appropriate management can control the disorder and enable people to enjoy good quality of life
  • Asthma affects about 10 per cent of adults and about 15 per cent of children and adolescents in the UAE.

Sources: World Health Organization The National, 2013 


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Facts

  • An average person spends ONE THIRD of his or her life in bed

  • Over 50% of all allergic asthmatics are sensitive to house dust mites - "Asthma Society of Canada"

  • 40% of UAE asthmatics are children - "World Health Organization"

  • One in eight adults in the UAE is asthmatic - "Emirates Respiratory Society"

  • Indoor air pollution can be up to 100 times worse than outdoor pollution - "US Environment Protection Agency (EPA)"

  • Dust mite excrement contains the chemical Guanine which is the second leading allergen source of all allergies and asthmas

  • Dust mites excrete twice their body weight per day

  • A gram (about a half teaspoon) of dust contains as many as 1,000 dust mites and 250,000 allergenic dust mite fecal pellets

  • If you often wake up with congestion, a runny nose, watery eyes, itching, or sneezing, then you are probably allergic to dust mites

  • Dust mite populations increase rapidly. Each egg-laying female can increase the population by 25 or 30 new mites per week

  • Dust mites "poop" about 20 times a day in the mattress

  • The weight of the average mattress doubles after ten years due to dust mite infestation, and the weight of the average pillow increases 10% each year

  • It is recommended that the mattress be sanitized at least twice a year, or every three months in case of any allergy sufferer in the household

  • Dust mite populations peak during hot and humid environment