As we go into peak allergy season here in the UAE between April and June, pollen, mould spores and dust mite allergens in the air trigger breathing allergies and asthma. Itâ€™s no wonder that up to an estimated 40% of children and one third of adults* in the UAE suffer from Allergic Rhinitis â€“ the generic medical term for a collection of symptoms, mostly in the nose and eyes, which occur when you breathe in something you are allergic to, such as dust, dander, or pollen. As residents of the Gulf, we suffer a disproportionately higher rate of asthma and breathing allergies according to the World Health Organisation due to our hot, humid & dusty climate, rapid industrialisation and increase in planted greenery. It is therefore no surprise that one in 5 children in the UAE have asthma** which increases with age***.
The importance of clean air for babies, children and expecting mothers
Babies and children are more vulnerable to everyday risks such as bacteria and viruses than adults. Clean air and development of a babyâ€™s immune system are inextricably linked. Research shows that environmental factors such as airborne allergens can affect a babyâ€™s health in its motherâ€™s womb â€“ leading European and US studies1 have demonstrated the link between exposure to particulate matter during pregnancy and low birth weight. In addition, exposure to health hazards in the early years of life can have long term health implications. Research in England shows reducing allergy triggers helps prevent the onset of asthma and allergies2. Other research shows that for babies under 12 months exposure to dust mite allergens increases the risk of asthma3.
Consequently, indoor air treatment is vital for healthy living, particularly for children, babies and pregnant women. Most coughs, colds, sneezing, watery eyes and nasal congestion are commonly caused by airborne allergens such as mould & fungal spores, pollen, dust mite allergens, etc. â€“ but sufferers are usually entirely unaware that these are allergies**.
Children are â€śmore susceptibleâ€ť (according to the American Lung Association and the California Environmental Protection Agency) to the harmful effects of airborne pollution because:
Â Â children breathe more rapidly which increases exposure to airborne pollution
Â Â children tend to breathe through their mouth, thus bypassing the filtering effect of the nose
Â Â childrenâ€™s immune systems and organs are still not mature
Â Â children tend to breathe air at a lower level in the room which is more highly polluted as contaminants stagnate at lower levels
Â Â narrower airways mean inflammation or irritation caused by airborne pollutants is much more dangerous
Â Â takes less exposure to trigger asthma or a breathing allergy due to the sensitivity of a childâ€™s developing respiratory system
Â Â airborne contaminants could affect development of respiratory, nervous, immune and endocrine systems which has repercussions in adulthood
Children are also more likely to develop allergies if one or both parents have allergies and/or asthma. UAE research has also shown that younger children, girls and people of Arab origin are at greater risk*.
Breathe easy with AirfreeÂ® Air Purifiers - a European brand with a unique, patented purification technology based on safe and natural heat sterilisation. AirfreeÂ® removes airborne allergens by incinerating them and then returns the air back to the room without affecting ambient room temperature. AirfreeÂ® products have zero maintenance, no consumables whatsoever, are completely silent and have a very low electricity consumption - AED6 per month for continuous 24/7 use.
Families in over 50 countries around the world have discovered the difference AirfreeÂ® Air Purifiers can make to their overall quality of life. Hereâ€™s what some of our happy customers in the UAE have to say:
â€śAmazing! We have been using an Airfree S4000 unit in my 6 year old asthmatic son's bedroom for the last two months, and I am happy to note a clear improvement in his health.â€ť
One of the leading Asthma and Allergy Specialists in the UAE
â€śI used Airfree in my twin boysâ€™ room, and saw an immediate difference in their health, so much so that I decided to share that experience on my website!â€ť
Petra Sander, Founder, www.DubaiKidz.biz
â€śMy son suffers from breathing allergies and as a result, he feels nauseous in the morning and so he never eats breakfast before school. We placed an Airfree unit in his bedroom and within two weeks we noticed a change in his health â€“ heâ€™s now started eating cereal on school days and no longer feels nauseous. My wife also noticed that his bedroom seems to have less dust bunnies. Weâ€™d recommend Airfree for sure.â€ť
Mike Beggs, Dubai, UAE
â€śMy son, aged 9 years, had a constant cough and cold problem for the last 3-4 years. We had taken him to various paediatricians, done all kinds of allergy tests, but to no avail. About 5 months back, we installed a Airfree Air Purifier in our bedroom and, I must say, the visits to doctors have become few and far.â€ť
Samir S., Dubai, UAE
â€śI think my daughter had her first runny nose aged two weeks. Within her first month we had rushed her to hospital in a blind panic because it seemed like she couldnâ€™t breathe. We were told she had asthma and were given a nebuliser and anti-histamines to use at home. We never believed she had asthma and just put it down to the fact that the air con was too much for her little respiratory system to handle. For her entire first two years she seemed to be constantly ill â€“ particularly during air con season. When my second child was born the exact same thing happened â€“ again we were told he had asthma, which again I didnâ€™t believe.
I have always tried to keep the air con use to a minimum and been hyper-vigilant about getting the air con system cleaned at the start and the end of the summer. I have also tried humidifiers and banning chemical cleaning products to try and reduce the frequency of runny noses and the subsequent coughs, chest infections and antibiotics that follow, but nothing has made much difference until now.
Since installing the Airfree unit in my childrenâ€™s bedroom three months ago, neither child has had even a hint of a runny nose or cough. They are sleeping more soundly and are generally healthier and happier as a result. I put it all down to the Airfree unit â€“ the sudden shift in their health is undeniable and the only change in the house has been the air purifier. I honestly canâ€™t believe what a difference it has made. I wish Iâ€™d had Airfree units when they were newbornsâ€¦ it would have saved us a lot of worry and trips to the doctors, and saved them a lot of illness and unnecessary medication. I would definitely recommend Airfree to any parent. The units are safe, unobtrusive, quiet and donâ€™t need any maintenance, or filter changing. You just plug it in and away you go! In this part of the world where the air is dusty and humid, and the searing heat means we have to survive on processed, regurgitated air for six months of the year, an air purifier will make a world of difference to your childrenâ€™s health â€“ and you really canâ€™t put a price on that.â€ť
Louisa Wilkins, Features Writer â€“ Al Nisr Magazines
AirfreeÂ® is available at: DubaiBabies.com, AbudhabiBabies.com, the GreenEcostore.com, and select locations of BabyShop, Bin Sina Pharmacy, Panacea Pharmacy, Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre, American Hospital, The ENT Clinic â€“ DHCC, and SaniService. Coming soon to Boots The Pharmacy, Supercare Pharmacy, Good Health Nutrition, and Galleries Lafayette.
For further information, please call our 24 hour Customer Service line on: 800 AIRFREE (247 3733)
* Source: The Prevalence of Allergic Rhinitis, Dr. S. Alsowaidi, UAE University 2009
** Source: Middle East-Asia Allergy Asthma Immunology Congress, Dubai March 2009
*** Source: Prevalence of Asthma Among Emirates School Children, Dr. A. Bener et al., UAE University 1994
1 = PM10 air pollution exposure during pregnancy and term low birth weight, Xu et al. University of Florida, Intâ€™l Archive of Occupational Environ Health 2010, and Fetal growth and maternal exposure to particulate matter during pregnancy, Dejmek et al. Regional Institute of Hygiene of Central Bohemia, Environ Health Perspect. 1999
2 = Effect of environmental manipulation in pregnancy and early life on respiratory symptoms during first year of life, CustovicÂ et al., NAC Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study Group, Lancet 2001
3 = Exposure to house-dust mite allergen (Der p I) and the development of asthma in childhood, Sporik et al., New England Journal of Med. 1990, AbudhabiBabies.com, the GreenEcostore.com, and select locations of BabyShop, Bin Sina Pharmacy, Panacea Pharmacy, Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre, American Hospital, The ENT Clinic â€“ DHCC, and SaniService. Coming soon to Boots The Pharmacy, Supercare Pharmacy, Good Health Nutrition, and Galleries Lafayette.