As Delhi suffers from a lethal dose of air pollution, Doctors at Fortis Healthcare share tips to stay healthy in smog

As Delhi suffers from a lethal dose of air pollution, Doctors at Fortis Healthcare share tips to stay healthy in smog

New Delhi, November 8, 2017: With the recent celebration of Diwali and the on-going stubble burning that is taking place in the neighbouring areas, has led to Delhi being engulfed in toxic smoke. The arrival of winter has led to a drop in temperature, causing the fog to combine with the smoke resulting in the formation of a less transparent, visible air pollutant i.e. smog. Due to high levels of pollution, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has stated that Delhi is in a state of “public health emergency”. Air quality index is very severe with high particulate matter at a 2.5 level in many places. A report in the Lancet medical journal last month said pollution had claimed as many as 2.5 million lives in India in 2015, the highest in the world.

 Dr Vikas Maurya, Senior Consultant & Head of Department, Respiratory Medicine & Interventional Pulmonology, Department of Pulmonology & Sleep Disorders, Fortis Hospital – Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi talks about air pollution and how we can protect ourselves from its harmful effects.

Harmful effects of Smog:

–          Can lead to the onset of allergies or aggravate already existing allergies and decrease in Lung Immunity

–          Might be instrumental in causing premature birth

–          Cause decrease in the lung function  in all age groups

–          Might aggravate pre-existing lung and cardiac functions along with uncontrollable or chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath

Preventive measures:

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–          People should avoid going outdoors along with doing physical activities like cycling, jogging or any other outdoor exercises.

–          N95 masks should be used if it is absolutely necessary to go out.

–          Air Purifying plants such as Aloe Vera, Ivy and Spider Plant can be placed in the home and offices.

–          To ensure that indoor air pollution does not take place make sure there is a chimney in the kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom.

–          Consume Fruits  rich in Vitamin C, Magnesium , Foods rich in Omega Fatty Acids

–          Have Herbal Ginger & Tulsi tea

Air pollution poses a major health risk and can cause stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases. According to the WHO, 92% of the world’s population lives in areas where the air quality is below the WHO standards. 88% of premature deaths occur in the low- and middle-income countries, where air pollution is escalating at an alarming rate. According to UNICEF, 1 in 7 children are breathing polluted air. Governments and civil society bodies need to join hands to fight air pollution in a systematic and strategic manner.

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