Air Pollution in Delhi and NCR : A major concern
The poor air quality in Delhi and NCR is leaving a more serious and long-lasting impact on our lungs. While health conditions of people with compromised lungs and asthma are already at risk, many healthy individuals are also reporting breathing issues. Especially in winters, due to dry air, a wide range of health problems caused by air pollution comes to the fore. So how can one recognise the symptoms caused by air pollution and ensure prevention? Let's get a brief understanding of air pollution and prevention.
The symptoms caused by air pollutants may range from mild to moderate to severe. It may start with a slightly itchy throat to repeated episodes of coughing, sneezing, bouts of excessive coughs etc. Asthma and COPD patients may experience chest pain, irregular breathing patterns and headaches. Seek immediate medical consultation if you experience any of these symptoms.
As far as preventive measures are concerned, we should avoid venturing out during poor air conditions unless necessary. Apart from that:
- Avoid direct air exposure: When air quality is severely poor, try to avoid direct contact with the outdoor air. Nowadays, there are several apps which help us check and know the air quality of the area where we live. Be aware of the air quality and plan your outdoor visits accordingly. And always wear good quality masks while going out.
- Eat healthy: Eat green leafy vegetables and ensure right nutrition in every meal. Good nutrition plays a key role in fighting against diseases and overall well-being. Increase intake of protein and Vitamin C-rich food.
- Avoid smoking: Since the air quality in Delhi and NCR is already at hazardous levels, smoking can only add to bad health and poor air quality. We all breathe this air, and polluting it and promoting passive smoking is definitely not a good idea. Go for lung screening and keep your health in check.
People with compromised lungs and asthma, COPD etc., need to be comparatively more cautious and take extra care. Along with the measures mentioned above, they should also:
- Keep inhalers and medicines stock ready: Quite often, empty inhalers put people with breathing issues in trouble. Therefore, always keep inhalers filled and medicines handy. Also, carry a set of all required medication in a bag, especially while travelling.
- Never ignore any symptom: Never miss to recognise any alarming symptom, as bad air quality may aggravate prevailing conditions. Seek immediate medical advice even after experiencing minor pain in the chest or breathlessness.
Dr. Bandana Mishra,
HOD and Senior Consultant,