Allergy

An allergy is a chronic condition becoming very common in the Middle East involving an abnormal reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance called an allergen. If you have an allergy, your immune system views the allergen as an invader and a chain reaction is initiated. White blood cells of the immune system produce Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to special cells called mast cells, causing a release of potent chemicals such as histamine. These chemicals cause symptoms such as:

  • Itchy skin, itchy nose, throat, and eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose (congestion)
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes

A number of different allergens are responsible for allergic reactions. The most common include:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Insect stains
  • Food
  • Animal dander
  • Mold

What are the different types of Allergies?

Dust mite allergy: Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to tiny bugs that commonly live in house dust. Signs of dust mite allergy include sneezing and runny nose. Many people with dust mite allergy also experience signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing. Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments such as home bedding’s, upholstered furniture and carpeting. When was the last time you did an allergy test or went to an allergy specialist in Dubai? It is medically proven that steps to reduce the number of dust mites in your house can often control dust mite allergy. Hay fever allergy (allergic rhinitis): Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like signs and symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus. Hay fever in Dubai and the rest of UAE is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Other types: Other types of allergies include Bronchitis, Conjunctivitis, Rhinitis (Hay Fever), Sinusitis (Sinus Congestion)

Allergy facts:

  • Worldwide, allergic rhinitis affects between 10% and 30 % of the population
  • Worldwide, the rate among school children picking up one or more common allergens are currently approaching 40%-50%
  • One of the main types of allergies in the UAE is allergic rhinitis, which affects 10 per cent of adults and more than 30 per cent of children and adolescents

Sources:
Mayo Clinic
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
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