Asthma vigilance urged by doctor

The onset of cooler weather in the region could aggravate the symptoms of asthma sufferers, according to Doctor Alatasi, pediatrician at Welcare Hospital.

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By  David Ingham Published  December 12, 2005

The onset of cooler weather in the region could aggravate the symptoms of asthma sufferers, according to Doctor Alatasi, pediatrician at Welcare Hospital. It is believed that around 15% of UAE nationals suffer from asthma. “When the weather changes most asthma patients’ symptoms, such as, cough, runny nose, itchy nose and sneezing get worse and more frequent,” said Doctor Alatasi, a specialist in asthma treatment. “Most of the time, this can be explained by the fact that the pollen count in the air is higher, because of the many different variations of imported flowers, trees and grass in the UAE.” “During the months of October and November, when weather changes we advise patients to monitor their symptoms carefully. Many people, especially children, under-estimate their symptoms and therefore do not get proper or timely treatment.” Doctor Alatasi added. Doctor Alatasi says some precautions can be taken to prevent asthma symptoms from getting worse during this time of the year. When it is windy, there will be more pollen spread in the air and asthma patients should take their preventative medicines before going out. Also, before starting exercise, especially outside, he advises patients to take preventative anti-inflammatory medicines, either corticosteroid inhalators, or the preventative tablets. “It is important to start treatment with rescue medication as soon as symptoms start. Also, if asthma symptoms keep deteriorating, please seek medical care.” Inhaled corticosteroid is nowadays a common medication for asthma treatment. Asthma is characterised by frequent and persistent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing. When asthma is not under control, a patient cannot control his breathing and the airways of the lungs become swollen and inflamed. In the UAE, around 15% of the population has asthma and the level amongst children is reported to be very high. Causes of the problem include humidity, bacteria in unclean AC units, mould and pollutants.

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