How to stay safe during high air pollution

Located in the northern portion of the country, Delhi can easily be described as the heart of the Indian subcontinent. But, much to the dismay of its residents, this city is putting up a fight for life, presently, in order to survive the apocalyptic smog and pollution that made headlines last week.

Being enveloped with humongous layers of fumes and smog, Delhi has spelt “Hell” for every citizen, not sparing even the children and the elderly. As the national capital gradually turned into a gas chamber, the week that passed by even saw the schools shutting down after a health emergency alert was declared by the IMA or the Indian Medical Association.

This is, however, not something that the Delhiites are witnessing for the first time. This has been the picture for quite some years now. Winters are, as it is, the worst period for people with respiratory problems and asthma. Added to that, the spike in air pollution takes these issues related to the health to a whole new level resulting in fatal consequences for many.

Here are some of the common respiratory problems that are quite widespread at this time.

Common Respiratory Issues Arising at This Time

Here are some of the most prevalent respiratory issues that people are prone to and suffer from.

  • Infection of Lower Respiratory Tract – This includes the following –
  • Asthma – The toxic fumes present in the air loom large and exacerbate the condition of the asthma patients during this time.
  • Bronchitis – The gases and the fumes present in the air can lead to bronchial tubes’ inflammation leading to acute attacks.
  • Wheezing – In elders and kids another problem that is quite rampant because of the excessive pollution is wheezing.
  • Infection of Upper Respiratory Tract –This is the period when you will come across many with the complaints of fever, dry cough and irritation in the throat and the eyes. Even people who have no problems as such with respiration can experience a lingering feeling of suffocation and irritation the chest and eyes.

The physicians suggest that though everyone’s respiratory tract is equally affected by this pollution, the kids, elderlies and the patients are more vulnerable to get a respiratory problem during this time.

Ways to Stay Safe and Prevent Respiratory Diseases during This Time

This goes without saying that it is a tough time among the lawmakers now as they face a great challenge to devise a way to solve this issue that is, day-by-day, becoming a survival threat. Here are some personal precautions that you can take to protect yourself and your family from the clutches of this monster named pollution that is almost engulfing the entire capital.

  1. Avoid outdoor activity if possible, completely stop doing outdoor exercises or taking a walk outside. Going outside your home for this will do more harm than good to you. This is because there are higher chances of tiny hazardous materials entering the lungs as a result of direct exposure to the polluting agents. Instead, you should try working out indoors.
  2. You should also take good care of what you eat at this time. Go for a healthy diet consisting of fruits and other food materials rich in magnesium, vitamin C and omega fatty acids that are capable of fighting any infection and allergy.
  3. Go for an air-purifier and use it regularly. This is a great way to health problems related to air pollution and is beneficial for people with respiratory conditions. There are definitely some challenges around the filters of the air-purifiers, in that case, you should consider going for indoor plants in the house. These are scientifically proven to decrease indoor air pollution. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), Golden Pothos and Spider Plants are the best types of air-purifying plants at your house. They are also very easy to take care of.
  4. Monitor the level of air pollution prior to going out. For this, you can download any app that offers real-time Air Quality Index across all cities in India. For both the iOS and Android users this is available.
  5. Ensure that you always wear a good quality air-pollution mask like that of N95 air masks, N99 VOG masks prior to stepping out of your home.
New Delhi: Traffic policemen wear masks to protect themselves from heavy smog and air pollution while manning the traffic, in New Delhi on Wednesday. The smog and air pollution continue to be above the severe levels in Delhi NCR on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Kamal Kishore(PTI11_8_2017_000037B)

Apart from the ones mentioned above, you should also keep it in mind to check with your doctor if you experience unpleasant breathlessness or a shortness of breath, especially, if you have certain conditions of health including that of heart disease and asthma. When prescribed, use the CPAP masks and medicines religiously. You should also follow proper diet and any other precautions specifically mentioned by your doctor.

Though staying healthy, under such dire circumstances, is a challenge by itself, by following these tips you can at least, make your effort to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

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(Photos: Pexels)






Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Dheepika

    Caring for others is a great job. You are taking care of every people by your article. The tips that you have given in every post is really helpful. I am surfing all your post and became a great follower of your article. Thank you so much for these wonderful articles…..and waiting for the next.

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