Fog is a low-lying cloud formed by accumulation of water molecules from local water bodies, essentially ‘water in the air’.
Does fog affect your health adversely? Will it trigger existing respiratory conditions or allergies?
We asked an expert, Dr. Sandeep Pargi, a practicing Specialist in Respiratory Medicine at Aster Hospital, Mankhool, about this.
“No, fog by itself is not known to have adverse health effects”, Dr. Pargi said.
However, smog or fog that mixes with smoke and other pollutants in the air is what causes or triggers health problems.
Dr. Pargi maintained that fog in the UAE is not as polluted as in many other countries and cities.
However, as fog usually occurs at the same time as most people drive to work in the country, the chances of vehicular pollutants or irritants mixing with the fog is high. This mixture can be harmful, more specifically to a smaller high-risk population.
Anyone younger than 14 is considered at high-risk during foggy or smog conditions, therefore all children and young adults. Other high-risk individuals include patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma sufferers, smokers, people with cardiac diseases, and allergy-prone individuals.
According to Dr. Pargi, people at high-risk should, as far as possible, not go out during foggy conditions. However, if that’s not possible, wear filtered masks as opposed to regular ones. These are available in pharmacies.
“If you find yourself falling sick or feeling under the weather during this season; it may not be just the fog. It could be a combination of the allergens in the fog, cooler temperatures, viruses in the environment and other factors,” Dr. Pargi said.
Specialist in Respiratory Medicine
Aster Hospital, Mankhool
GulfNews Link – How does fog in the UAE affect your health