asthma patients

Exposure to air pollution also puts you at risk for lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and in extreme cases, premature death

New Delhi: With the onset of winter, there has been a massive rise in air pollution across the country, mainly in big cities. According to experts, poor air quality has been causing asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory issues.

According to experts, the incidences of recurrence in patients have increased by nearly 15 per cent in Pune, where many need immediate medical attention and oxygen support.

Doctors have also been witnessing a sea of patients suffering from respiratory illnesses coming for emergency and OPD check-ups. Many, even at a young age, are suffering from respiratory failure, reaching critical condition. Apart from asthma and COPD, there are various lung complications as well.

Experts say the situation in the city is likely to worsen during and after Diwali.

How does pollution affect the lungs?

Air pollution includes particulate matter like carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and Sulphur dioxide, all of which are capable of penetrating deep into the lungs and entering the bloodstream, impacting the heart, stroke, and respiratory systems.

Breathing in air pollutants can irritate your airways and may cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, asthma episodes, and chest pain.

Exposure to air pollution also puts you at risk for lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and in extreme cases, premature death.

Air pollution as a cause of lung conditions

According to studies on human exposure, when particles accumulate in the respiratory system in large enough quantities, it causes inflammation. The dosage of particles and composition affect the degree of lung inflammation.

Inflammation in the airways makes them more sensitive to irritants such as cold air, particle pollution, allergens, and gaseous pollutants which impair lung function by constricting the airways. It also harms or kills cells on a cellular level and jeopardizes the stability of the alveolar-capillary barrier.

How to manage the ill effects of pollution?

During heightened pollution to ensure the air quality in your home is good, reduce or eliminate major sources of pollutants:

  • Do not smoke indoors
  • Fix water infiltration problems to prevent the growth of mold
  • Opt for healthy and environmentally friendly household products and materials
  • Limit the use of wood-burning appliances
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector, and avoid using appliances that operate on fuel like gasoline, propane, etc. Indoors
  • Keep your windows shut when outdoor air quality is poor and during periods of extreme cold
  • Eat a healthy diet consisting fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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