Tuesday, 11 February 2014

House Dust Mites is the Main Cause of Respiratory Allergies in Singapore

This is the statistics shared by a recent study published in Singapore. The scientists involved said: "This high rate of reactions from house dust mites are strongly correlated with increased rates of allergic rhinitis and asthma in Singapore." They added that these findings address the widening problem of allergy and asthma in tropical countries. The results suggested that changes in lifestyle resulting in more time spent indoors increased one's exposure to high loads of house dust mite allergens.

To be honest, these results were alarming and shocked me! While I am aware of the rising allergic rhinitis trend in Singapore and worldwide in general, I find it unbelievable that 80% of those who took part in the survey were reactive to house dust mites. I wonder if reactive bears the same meaning as allergic in this study? Probably not. Just like there is a difference between food intolerance and food allergy. Perhaps being reactive could just mean that someone has the occasional few sneezes when exposed to dust and the reaction ends there; whereas someone like me, who is allergic to dust mites will sneeze non-stop with runny nose and itchy eyes. While I do not have more information on the survey with me, I find this statistic gels more with the former.

I am also quite surprised that almost 40% of our adult population is troubled by allergic rhinitis. This means 4 in 10 people suffer from allergic rhinitis. This is a rather high figure and other than my family members, I have only known 1 or 2 persons with this condition. I asked my spouse and he said the same. It is certainly not easy to find someone that has allergic rhinitis whom I can relate to and discuss the condition with. I think I know more people who are asthmatic (or who have outgrown it) than those who have allergic rhinitis. But well, this could just be me. Maybe there are those who know of many others with this condition. 

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