Increased pollution is causing asthma exacerbations. This is how to manage it | Health

Increased pollution is causing asthma exacerbations.  This is how to manage it |  Health

While the parties Independence Day brings us much to celebrate, what it also brings with it are more concentrated levels of pollutants and particulate matter, such as those found in mist and smoke when fireworks are used. This increased pollution, along with cold, dry air in the atmosphere due to the change in season, can irritate the airways and cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks.

In fact, continuous and excessive exposure to polluted air not only worsens pre-existing respiratory conditions that lead to frequent asthma attacks and COPD flare-ups, but can also lead to new cases of asthma and COPD. As a result of the increase in AQI, we have been seeing patients with complaints of cough, nasal congestion and shortness of breath since Diwali and even children experiencing acute cough and shortness of breath.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Ashish Kumar Prakash, Sleep and Respiratory Medicine Consultant at Medanta at Gurugram, reported: “Patients suffering from respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma and others are reporting acute exacerbations, an increase in symptoms such as cough, dyspnea, and acute nasal problems. In addition to worsening the AQI, climate change is another factor that causes many problems for patients with respiratory diseases. As the weather turns cold and windy, the cold, dry air and sudden changes in weather can irritate the airways, causing more mucus to be produced and leading to exacerbations if patients don’t take their medications properly.”

He suggested: “These patients are advised to see a doctor if their symptoms worsen, to follow their medications, to use inhalers, nasal sprays and antihistamines on a regular basis. Other than that, people are advised to wear a mask, avoid going out when the AQI is extremely low, avoid outdoor activities, engage in routine indoor exercise, see a pulmonologist if symptoms return, and avoid self-medication.”

Adding to the list of tips for managing the condition, Dr. Hemant Kalra, a chest specialist at Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in New Delhi, recommended: “As a first step, preventative measures should be followed such as: making sure you can identify and avoid potential triggers , staying indoors or wearing a face mask when going out. This should be combined with a ready action plan prepared in consultation with your doctor, an inhaler by your side, in the case of asthmatics, and taking regular inhalation therapy as prescribed by your doctor. Additionally, a peak flow meter can also be used to monitor the health of your lungs and better manage your condition.”

Dr. Piyush Goel, pulmonology consultant at Manipal Hospitals in Gurugram, echoed: “Air pollution affects people with asthma, COPD and other chronic comorbidities. Recently, we have seen many patients suffering from respiratory diseases due to the change of season and increased pollution. Patients who have been stable for the past 6 months now have exacerbations of lung disease.”

To avoid hype this season, he advised people to follow these tips:

– Wear an N95 mask or even a simple mask to prevent dust particles from entering your lungs

– With pollution, there are many seasonal infections and people are prone to infections. To avoid getting these conditions, people should take preventable vaccines. There are two types of vaccines, which are the influenza vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine to prevent common viruses and lung infection.

– If someone has a chronic health condition, then the person should go for regular consultation so that this condition can remain stable and even a mild condition cannot cause these conditions.

– Drink plenty of water so there is no dehydration. Dehydration can lead to the accumulation of toxins. However, it is important to see your doctor if you have any chronic conditions.

– Get plenty of green fruits and vegetables in your diet along with some exercise. It is not necessary that one has to go outside to exercise, they can plan it in their own home. This will help build immunity in the body.

– Smoking and drinking alcohol should be avoided if a person wants to be fit during this season.

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