Harmattan: Keep warm to prevent pneumonia, eye diseases — Expert

HarmattanA Pharmacist, Mrs Rotkang Okunlola, has advised the public to keep themselves warm during the harmattan to prevent pneumonia, eye and skin diseases.

Okunlola, the Chief Pharmacist at Dilimi Central Pharmacy, Jos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Jos that the inclement weather has health implications that people should strive to avoid.

“The season is usually characterised with foggy mist which has dust particles; such particles cause irritation to the eye and the respiratory system.

“In most cases, the eyes are the most affected because they are exposed to the dust particles carried by the dry, cold and dusty wind leading to itching, redness and other allergies.

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“The dust and cold weather also cause respiratory diseases such as a cough, catarrh, sore throat diseases and bronchitis, an inflammation of the bronchial tubes characterized by coughing, and chest pain,” she explained.

She particularly advised asthmatic and sickle cell patients to be more proactive in keeping themselves warm during the period as the dry and cold wind usually aggravate crises in the affected individual.

The expert listed other challenges associated with the harmattan to include cracked lips, dry skin and cracks on the sole of the feet, and prescribed the use of skin care products which moisturises the skin.

Okunlola advised people to wear cardigans, head warmers, stockings, leggings and hand gloves to keep warm.

She emphasised the need to keep children warm as they were more prone to cold which could lead to pneumonia if not effectively managed.

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