With its desert dunes and lush wadis, Oman is home to one of the most divergent ecosystems in the GCC – and for allergy sufferers this can mean a double whammy. Here are some tips on how to cope amid its unique climate when there’s no shortage of dust and pollens.
Call it seasonal rhinitis. Call it hay fever. Call it by any name you like, but for the countless sufferers in Oman who endure itchy, watery eyes, ever-runny noses and scratchy throats that accompany the change in seasons, it means only one thing – allergies.
While most of us think of allergies as a spring thing, experts say that one-third of people suffer with them in the autumn.
That’s because in autumn, plants like ragweed and late-blooming trees, flowers, and weeds release pollen. Couple these floras with certain moulds found on fallen leaves, dead plants and rotting wood – which also peak during the autumn season and release tiny spores into the air – and you have a recipe that can wreak havoc on the sinuses.
Although allergies are something to be tolerated, sufferers don’t have to be doomed to a season of Kleenex. The following tips may help reduce exposure to allergens and soothe allergy symptoms:
1) Minimise outdoor activity
IIn Oman, this is a no-brainer during the hot summer months. Pollen is at its highest in the morning hours, so avoid doing anything outdoors until mid-morning. Keep in mind that tasks such as raking or clearing the yard kick up outdoor allergens like no other and may trigger an attack. If you must do yard-work, wear a dust mask, and shower immediately after the task.
2) Watch what you eat
Research shows that some foods like melons, bananas, zucchini, and certain camomile teas can set off symptoms in people who suffer from ragweed allergies.
3) Consider alternative remedies
If over-the-counter medications don’t seem to be bringing some much-needed relief then safe, effective and nutritional remedies such as Efficas Care may be just what the doctor ordered. This non-prescription medical food is taken once a day – either by itself or mixed in with other foods – and is the first ‘nutritional therapeutic’ approach that has been clinically proven to help reduce allergy symptoms.
4) Use the dryer
While most people love the smell of the outdoors on their freshly-laundered clothes, it’s also a haven for pollen and mould. Better to throw your laundry in the dryer – which makes more sense here in Oman, as your laundry is likely to come in off the line covered in a film of dust.
5) Keep the outside out
The air conditioner should be an allergy sufferer’s best friend – and here in the GCC, there’s one in every household. Leaving windows open, while refreshing, invites in pollens, moulds, and dust mites that can trigger an attack. If you can’t stand to keep the house closed, an air filter or purifier will help reduce the presence of allergens.