Dust on holiday: what are the risks?




Whether you’re contemplating visiting a destination with high winds and a lot of dry dirt, or even blustery beaches, there can be some health problems that arise thanks to dust particles in the air. It is worth considering whether you, or your party, have any underlying health conditions prior to booking these places, as certain conditions can be caused or exacerbated in the presence of lots of dust and wind pollution. Otherwise, it is worth looking into the best ways you can minimise the likelihood of problems so that you can enjoy your stay.


One of the causes that can lead you to having a stye on top eyelid can be bacteria. When you are visiting a particularly dusty climate, it will be all too easy for dirt and debris in the air to come into contact with your eyes. From this, the resulting infection can cause a small, irritating lump, known as a stye, to form. While you can get over the counter antibiotics and drops to help with this, it can remain itchy or even painful for a couple of weeks, thus ruining your break. If you can’t avoid the dustiness of a location, you might want to opt for some sunglasses to help reduce the amount of dust that is getting close to the eye area. 

Hay Fever

Hay fever doesn’t just occur around certain types of animal dander, or when pollen is about. For some, dust in the air can bring on these mild allergic reactions, causing sneezing fits, redness and itching in the eyes, blurred vision, and even headaches and sore throats. Wearing sunglasses can help to keep these allergens in the dust away from your eyes, but cannot do a lot to protect your mouth and nose. Considering that you won’t want to spend your entire holiday shying away indoors, you may be able to take antihistamines prior to venturing outside, as well as make sure you shower once you get back to your hotel, to remove the allergens from your body.

Asthma Attacks

As with hay fever, allergens in the air, including from excessive dust, can also cause asthma symptoms to flare up. If you notice you are wheezing more than usual, have a cough that has come out of nowhere, and not accompanied by the other typical symptoms of illness, or even find yourself short of breath, this might very well be a sign that you are having an asthma attack. It is imperative that you keep your prescribed pump on you at all times. For those with severe asthma, it may be recommended that you alter your destination to one that is less likely to be detrimental to your health.

Travelling to a dusty holiday destination may be on your list, either due to the scenery or even cultural experiences, but you need to keep your health at the forefront of any choices. If you do still decide to go, it can be beneficial to look into the best ways to minimise health problems caused by dust, for the good of yourself and your travelling party.

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