Due to a number of factors, wintertime lung care is more important. Breathing problems and discomfort may result from the cold air's harsh effects on your respiratory system. Furthermore, the use of heating systems indoors can dry up the air, irritating your respiratory system and raising your risk of respiratory problems.
Also, wintertime frequently brings with it a spike in respiratory ailments such as colds and the flu, which puts your lungs at risk. You may lessen your chance of getting sick, breathe easier, and have a healthier winter overall by practice lung health maintenance such as being warm, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding smoke and other pollutants.
Dr. Puneet Gupta, who is the Head of Pulmonology, Intervention Pulmonology, and Sleep Medicine at Yatharth Hospital in Noida Extension, exclusively told Jagran English about how to make your lungs healthy this winter season.
Due to a number of factors, wintertime lung care is more important. (Image Credit: Canva)
Dr. Puneet said, "winter air pollution can significantly impact lung health, with increased severity often observed due to specific atmospheric conditions. During this season, temperature inversions are common in many regions, which trap pollutants close to the ground. This results in elevated concentrations of harmful substances like particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc. The still, cold air typical of winter prevents the dispersal of pollutants, leading to stagnant, polluted air masses. Consequently, the combined effects of these factors make the winter months particularly challenging for those concerned about their respiratory well-being. Many urban areas provide real-time air quality data through the Air Quality Index (AQI), which categorizes air quality from "good" to "hazardous." Regularly checking the AQI can help individuals gauge the severity of pollution in their area and make informed decisions regarding outdoor activities."
He also added that "for individuals with pre-existing lung conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory infection, and respiratory allergies, they should use their inhaler or respiratory medicine regularly, and any increase in breathing, cough, throat irritation, fall in Spo2, fever, or change in color of sputum should consult a healthcare professional (a pulmonologist). They can assess lung function and provide guidance on adjustments to treatment plans to better cope with the effects of winter pollution. Monitoring lung function during this season becomes crucial, as any deterioration should be addressed promptly. Improving indoor air quality is another effective measure. Investing in a quality air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter can help remove airborne pollutants within the home, significantly enhancing respiratory comfort. Regular maintenance of the air purifier is essential to ensuring its continued effectiveness. Also, certain indoor plants like areca palm, snake plant, money plant, aloe vera, etc. significantly clear air inside homes and working places."
Breathing problems and discomfort may result from the cold air's harsh effects on your respiratory system. (Image Credit: Canva)
At last, Dr. Puneet said, "on days when pollution levels are notably high, individuals should consider limiting outdoor activities, especially strenuous exercise, as it can lead to increased inhalation of pollutants. Opting for indoor exercise alternatives during these periods can significantly reduce the impact on lung health. Outdoor activity or exercise can be shifted to the afternoon when the temperature rises due to sunlight. When venturing outdoors on high-pollution days, wearing a mask designed to filter out particulate matter and other pollutants is advisable, especially in the morning, late evening, and night hours. Keep your car window closed during travel to reduce exposure to polluted air. Dressing warmly can also help reduce the impact of cold air on the airways."