Doha – Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is advising the public to take basic health and safety precautions as the Qatar Meteorology Department has forecast strong winds for the coming days.

Blowing dust kicked up by strong winds is expected to create hazy conditions across the country and could pose health hazards to those with sinus allergies and respiratory infections.

Those most at risk of contracting respiratory infections, including infants and young children, the elderly, people with a history of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, individuals with heart disease, pregnant women and those who work outdoors, such as construction or delivery workers, are advised to be particularly cautious.

Residents with asthma and other respiratory conditions are encouraged to use nebulizers and bronchial dilatators directly after the onset of asthma symptoms and those with persistent coughs should also visit their nearest healthcare center if they experience symptoms.

Dust consists of tiny solid particles floating in the air, which can get past the lungs’ natural defenses and harm sensitive lung tissue. Fine particles can irritate the lungs and trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks. Prolonged exposure to airborne dust can cause chronic breathing and lung problems, as well as heart disease.

HMC is recommending the public take a number of precautions during dusty weather, including avoiding going outside during high winds or low visibility when dust levels are particularly harmful, keeping windows and doors closed, covering nose and mouth with a mask or damp cloth to lessen the particles of dust being inhaled, keeping the car’s windows closed and opt for air conditioning instead of fresh air, and avoid rubbing eyes. If possible, use protective eyewear such as airtight goggles. If eyes become irritated, rinse with water. Be especially in case of wearing contact lenses.

Those who are prone to bad allergies should start using antihistamines before symptoms begin, HMC stressed.

Source: Qatar News Agency