Saharan Dust and Allergies

5 20
Avatar for Trifecta
2 years ago

Whew, my friends, today's gonna be a tough one.

In my country, we are sometimes exposed to Saharan Dust and I have terrible allergies, so my rhinitis is growing crazy.

Rhinitis is an allergic medical condition where, if you're exposed to dust, you'd be sneezing a lot, sniffling a lot, your eyes may water, and your nose will definitely itch. And so, I'm sniffling and sneezing over everything- not the best look at a time when every other person's super queasy because of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Image Source: Pixabay

My head aches from the constant sneezing, and that doesn't help one bit because I'm a terrible over thinker, and I am recovering from a huge faux pas which happened last evening, and climbing out of this rabbit hole seems to be the worst one yet.

- Have you ever heard about exposure to Sahara Dust and its complications?

- Do you suffer from anxiety because of overthinking?

- Do you love poetry?

If you're interested in learning more about or discussing any of the above, then please join me for a few minutes, let's discuss.

Saharan Dust and the Americas

Saharan Dust is like that thing that's bad, terribly bad, and yet so good. It's a mixture of tiny particles of sand and mineral dust that can be found in the Saharan Desert of North Africa.

Incidentally, the Saharan Desert is also the largest hot desert on Earth, covering more than 9 million square miles which spread from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

Lookout, the skies are orange!

Image courtesy Pixabay

Every year, dust from the Saharan desert rises in clouds, and crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. It also spreads to Mediterranean countries. Some days, you can literally see the dust-like clouds in the sky.

Saharan dust gets in everything. It gets on your windows, walls, cars, and in your lungs.

Saharan dust is great for the environment but harmful for your health.

For the Earth, the Saharan dust is a great fertiliser as it carries a lot of iron and minerals, and can help to fight climate breakdown because it feeds phytoplankton which absorbs carbon dioxide.

It also helps to protect against hurricanes, which are like these super storms that are extremely devastating.

And I would have said it's like spinach that's good for you, but it tastes bad if the only issue we faced as humans was the inconvenience of having to clear away dust. But it's not just that. Saharan dust can actually be really harmful to your health.

Achoo! Excuse me, ma'am!

Apart from coughing and sneezing and maybe even shortness of breath, Saharan Dust can have severe consequences for people suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

If you suffer from allergies and there's Saharan Dust in the air, you should:

  • Wear masks when outdoors.

  • Take your allergy meds.

  • Avoid stressful situations.

And so, my friends, after struggling for hours with sneezing and watery eyes, headaches and a runny nose, I've given in, taken my allergy medication, and hunkered down to ride out the storm.

Except now, I've got to face my thoughts, and I told you guys about my faux pas last evening, right? So now's not the best time to be alone with my thoughts. I won't exactly be my most reflective, I'll just be anxious, and, well, I mentioned I am an overthinker. So I've got to find a way to find and hold to my center, and to funnel my thoughts.

Overthinking and Anxiety

Well, guys, you may have heard the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, my friends, I found myself on just such a road, speeding towards that final destination, torpedoing towards it, in fact, in a Tesla.

Image Source: Pixabay

Here's what happened.

I was invited to participate in the program of a loved one's get together, let's just say it like that, right? And I had to put together an activity for the event which I did.

I was extremely excited to share it with the loved one. I felt convinced that the person would love it.

I showed it to another relative and that relative loved it. I advised the relative to check in with others because it's really that person's blood relations, not really mine, and the person was like, Na, it's perfect. Everyone will see it at the same time, it will be a blast.

It was not a blast.

They hated the presentation. It contained elements it should not have. After the event, there were a few polite claps. I was then ostracized for the rest of the evening. They continued to have fun among themselves, of course, even the relative who was like, na, it's perfect. It's just that I was not part of the fun. And whenever I came out and tried to mingle, everyone either stiffened, or turned away, or looked at me kinda surreptitiously and elbowed someone else.

It was painful. I felt like I had the plague, guys, I promise you. Later, when it was time for us to leave, I went over to the relative in whose honor the event was held to kinda hug her and tell her it was a good evening, and she turned away. Began fiddling with a bag and wouldn't look up at all until I left. So I did.

Anyways, guys, on the drive home, I swear the temperature was below zero, cuz I just could not bring myself to speak. But while I could zip my lips, guess what tap I could not turn off? Nope, it was most definitely not a crypto faucet. Guess who came a-knocking at my mental door? Uh huh, you guessed it, my friends. My thoughts did.

They just came gushing in.

And so, friends, here's the thing. I am a terrible overthinker. And this is not just me saying it blithely. I have been crippled by my anxiety, I have succumbed to panic attacks, the aftermath has been terrible.

You know what it feels like? It feels like walking around with an open wound, so that even if there's a light wind, my teeth are on edge, and if there's any disturbance beyond that, I can find myself in acute pain.

Do you guys read YA fiction for recreation? If you do, you should check our John Green's Turtles All the Way Down. The protagonist's me, y'all. I swear it.

If you suffer from anxiety disorders, some simple at home remedies to overcome an attack include:

  • Exercising often. I like walking with headsets on playing soothing music.

  • Eating healthy and avoiding caffeinated beverages.

  • Prioritizing sleep.

  • Practising relaxation techniques.

And so, my friends, I've been penning poetry. And here's some free verse that I tried at first:

Ants, standing sentry on a hill

Of letters

And words and half formed sentences,

Are unable to stop the flood of anxiety

That comes forward in mountainous waves,

A sea

That can topple everything,

Wipe out the recently established consistency

Of storing love and dumping negativity

By reintroducing calamity

To the hill that the ants standing sentry

Have been struggling for decades to build.

Just between us folks, I love free verse poetry, particularly when trying to contain my anxiety. Because then it's just a natural dance with me and words, and I don't have to really follow any pattern or rhyme scheme.

I dived into a sulphur stream, seeking healing,

Floated on waters that were warm and soothing.

Gaining confidence, I stood.

And opened my eyes to realize too late that I was sinking

In quicksand.

There was no anchor of support to pull me up.

No solid ground on which I could stand.

I was sinking in quicksand.

The water around me was rising.

There was a whirlpool by my nostrils.

I was spiralling


And there we are, my friends. I've burrowed into a cocoon, clothed myself in poetry, and I am waiting for the ink to dry on my thoughts.

By the way, have you tried Haikus? They are Japanese poems which consist of three lines, altogether 17 syllables. There's five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third.

I sit in repose.

Drawing light and protection.

Finding my center.

I'm mentally stacking stones, my friends. I'm finding my zen. I'm picturing the lotus flower out on a still, undisturbed lake. I am thinking of myself, eyes closed, undisturbed, breathing in slowly, and then out.

Image Source: Pixabay

But tell me, have you ever had to cope with anxiety, perhaps for an exam or anything like that? Besides medication or therapy, what are some at home strategies you use?

If you've made it to the end of this piece with me, my friends, I thank you for walking with me. Tomorrow, I'm convinced, will be better.

$ 1.73
$ 1.58 from @TheRandomRewarder
$ 0.05 from @Unity
$ 0.05 from @Aimure
+ 2
Sponsors of Trifecta
Avatar for Trifecta
2 years ago


Never knew the dust blows across the Atlantic ocean all the way to the Americas. That is quite incredible.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Yes, it does! And it's a great fertilizer. The Amazon forest, for example, it's said the Saharan dust replaces nutrients lost through run-off. Funny thing is we've had Saharan dust forever, but I never had allergies for it until I was an adult though. Not even sure how that worked.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

Mutation perhaps. Hormonal changes etcetera

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I have not heard about this kind of allergy before we have lost many life covid now we need to adopt protection measures

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Yep, we do. For countries affected by Saharan dust, it's nothing new though, and we don't fear it the way people feared covid cuz this one's actually very great for the environment. It's just that people with allergies have to be super careful. Thanks for stopping by!

$ 0.00
2 years ago