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High AQI Means High Health Concerns: 6 Tips To Stay Safe Amid Severe Pollution In Delhi, NCR
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Home >> Blogs >> High AQI Means High Health Concerns: 6 Tips To Stay Safe Amid Severe Pollution In Delhi, NCR

High AQI Means High Health Concerns: 6 Tips To Stay Safe Amid Severe Pollution In Delhi, NCR

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) are grappling with severe air pollution, a situation that has escalated to alarming levels. The Air Quality Index (AQI) has recorded hazardous readings, with certain areas like Mundka witnessing an AQI as high as 498. When AQI levels range from 400 to 500, it poses a significant threat to public health1.

The most dangerous pollutants include PM2.5, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides. The particulate matter, especially prevalent during November and December, combines with vehicle smoke, dust, and toxins to form smog, which is particularly toxic and hazardous for all age groups. The health impacts of this severe pollution are extensive:

  • Respiratory Issues: The number of patients with respiratory problems visiting Outpatient Departments (OPDs) has almost doubled, affecting both healthy individuals and those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Variety of Health Problems: People experience moderate to high headaches, migraines, dizziness, nausea, redness, and burning sensation in the eyes, sinusitis, cold, rhinitis, sore throat, spikes in blood pressure, aggravated heart conditions, lung infections and disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, chronic kidney disease, and liver toxicity.

To mitigate these effects, several measures are recommended

  • Consult a Healthcare Professional: Seek medical advice if symptoms persist or if there is difficulty breathing.
  • Wear N95 Masks: These masks can prevent lung damage. Avoid going out during peak traffic hours and refrain from outdoor exercise when AQI is high.
  • Perform Breathing Exercises: Daily breathing exercises can help fortify the respiratory system.
  • Maintain a Diet Rich in Antioxidants and Vitamins: This strengthens overall health against pollution.
  • Gargle with Lukewarm Water: This helps soothe the throat and remove toxins.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids keeps the kidneys active and supplies the body with essential electrolytes.
  • Improve Indoor Air Quality: Using air purifiers or HEPA filters and having air-purifying plants can help.

A survey in the Delhi-NCR region found that around 75% of households are experiencing health complications like sore throat, cough, and burning eyes due to poor air quality. About 40% of residents reported breathing difficulties or asthma-like conditions, with others experiencing runny nose, congestion, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and headaches. In response, many residents have started consuming food to boost immunity and wearing anti-pollution masks, though about 20% do not plan to take any action. The primary causes of this pollution include stubble burning in neighboring states, road and construction dust, vehicle emissions, and industrial pollution.

The situation in Delhi and NCR is a significant health concern, and residents are advised to take proactive steps to protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Dr. Bandana Mishra, Head of the Department and Senior Consultant


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