Abu Dhabi: About 60 per cent of patients who recently visited a hospital in Abu Dhabi were diagnosed with urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) is a bacterial condition that affects the urinary tract and is the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting to about 8.3 million doctor visits each year around the world.

Women are especially prone to UTIs with one woman in five developing the condition during her lifetime.

UTIs in men are not as common as in women but can be very serious when they do occur.

"UTI is more common among women because they have a shorter urethra [a tube which connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body] than men; also women are prone to hormonal changes which in itself can encourage an infection," said Dr Roshan John, Internal Medicine MD at Lifeline Hospital, who diagnoses two out of ten patients with UTI and kidney stones on a daily basis.

"The prevalence increases in hot weather conditions and with the quality of drinking water consumed which is sometimes contaminated and has ions in it. This encourages greying and loss of hair," said John, adding, "even if people drink from a well bottled mineral water, it's advisable to boil it before drinking, because you can never be able to tell if the water contains ions or not."

Other common medical conditions that have increased lately with the changing and windy weather conditions include allergic rhinitis (commonly known as a runny-nose caused by bacteria) and asthma (a chronic lung disease), bronchitis (inflammation of the air passages within the lungs) and regular throat infections.

"Sharing accommodations, central air-conditioning, small spaces in offices and lack of outdoor exposure also encourages allergies and reduces a person's immunity system. Over 60 per cent of my patients have lately suffered from allergic rhinitis [an inflammation of the nasal passages] and 20 per cent from conjunctivitis [inflation of the eye]," said Dr Humaira Nasser, General Physician in General Practitioner and Emergency Clinic from Al Noor Hospital, who added that a dry cough along with throat conditions are also common, amounting to 40 per cent of medical problems that were recently diagnosed.

Dr Nasser has also witnessed a growing number of patients complaining about urinary infections.

"I have at least two to three patients diagnosed with UTI in a day, and they are mostly young ladies or newly married women, and I see it as mostly connected to drinking more coffee and carbonated drinks than water," added Dr Nasser.

- Additional information from: National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Update from the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology

Mohamed Al Abri, Director of Meteorology Department at the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology speaks to Gulf News about weather conditions in the past two weeks.

He says: "This is called a transition period, from winter to summer, where the weather is changeable, unexpectable and fast, which has a lot to do with the suns location which results in instability with the weather and general circulation of the wind. The temperature is increasing gradually, going up due to southerly winds, and down due to north westerly winds resulting in an average temperature of a maximum of mid 30 degree centigrade and a minimum of 15 degrees centigrade."

"There's also been strong winds causing rising and blowing sand across the city which is normally the reason why asthma and allergies arise among people. Thunder storms have also said to affect certain cardiovascular conditions. Strong winds also cause poor visibility and result in too much pollen being dispensed in agricultural areas, again encouraging asthma among farmers."