5 ways how toxic smog in Delhi-NCR is affecting your lungs | Hindustan Times
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5 ways how toxic smog in Delhi-NCR is affecting your lungs

Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST
  • Prolonged exposure to polluted air can play havoc with lung health and can cause respiratory issues. Here are ways toxic smog affects our lungs.
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Every winter, Delhi residents have to grapple with health issues caused by toxic smog which is essentially a mix of fog and pollutants. Smog other than affecting the visibility and preventing proper sunlight from reaching the surface also has serious consequence for our lung health. In a conversation with HT Digital, Dr Manav Manchanda, Director & Head- Respiratory, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Asian Hospital Faridabad shares ways toxic smog is affecting our lung health. (Pexels) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

Every winter, Delhi residents have to grapple with health issues caused by toxic smog which is essentially a mix of fog and pollutants. Smog other than affecting the visibility and preventing proper sunlight from reaching the surface also has serious consequence for our lung health. In a conversation with HT Digital, Dr Manav Manchanda, Director & Head- Respiratory, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Asian Hospital Faridabad shares ways toxic smog is affecting our lung health. (Pexels)

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The impact of smog extends to various aspects of our health, affecting our lungs, heart, and brain. Prolonged exposure to air pollution in the form of smog can lead to respiratory issues such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). "Individuals experiencing the effects of smog filled air may observe increased coughing, breathing difficulties, wheezing, irritation in the nose and throat, discomfort while breathing, heightened breathlessness during outdoor activities, exacerbated lung symptoms, frequent asthma attacks, or more frequent use of reliever inhalers for COPD flare-ups," says Dr Manchanda.  (AP PHOTO) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

The impact of smog extends to various aspects of our health, affecting our lungs, heart, and brain. Prolonged exposure to air pollution in the form of smog can lead to respiratory issues such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). "Individuals experiencing the effects of smog filled air may observe increased coughing, breathing difficulties, wheezing, irritation in the nose and throat, discomfort while breathing, heightened breathlessness during outdoor activities, exacerbated lung symptoms, frequent asthma attacks, or more frequent use of reliever inhalers for COPD flare-ups," says Dr Manchanda.  (AP PHOTO)

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"The type and combination of pollutants, their concentration, and the extent to which they infiltrate the lungs collectively determine the impact of smog on respiratory health," says the expert, as he explains 5 ways the toxic smog can impact our well-being.  (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

"The type and combination of pollutants, their concentration, and the extent to which they infiltrate the lungs collectively determine the impact of smog on respiratory health," says the expert, as he explains 5 ways the toxic smog can impact our well-being.  (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

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1. Asthma and COPD flare-ups: High pollution levels exacerbate lung-related symptoms, potentially triggering asthma attacks or COPD flare-ups. Asthma patients may find themselves needing their reliever inhaler more frequently during periods of heightened pollution. Consistent use of asthma inhalers is crucial in such circumstances.  (Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

1. Asthma and COPD flare-ups: High pollution levels exacerbate lung-related symptoms, potentially triggering asthma attacks or COPD flare-ups. Asthma patients may find themselves needing their reliever inhaler more frequently during periods of heightened pollution. Consistent use of asthma inhalers is crucial in such circumstances.  (Shutterstock)

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2. Lung cancer: Air pollutant-filled smog is responsible for diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even lung cancer. The presence of fine particulate matter and toxic substances in polluted air irritates the respiratory system and worsens existing conditions, leading to breathing difficulties and gradual decline in lung function. (Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

2. Lung cancer: Air pollutant-filled smog is responsible for diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even lung cancer. The presence of fine particulate matter and toxic substances in polluted air irritates the respiratory system and worsens existing conditions, leading to breathing difficulties and gradual decline in lung function. (Shutterstock)

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3. Lung diseases: The origin of air pollution—stemming from vehicle emissions, industrial processes, and other sources—is associated with numerous potentially life-threatening health issues. Studies indicate that air pollution, particularly ozone, which is on the rise due to climate change, can accelerate lung diseases as severely as smoking a pack of cigarettes. (Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

3. Lung diseases: The origin of air pollution—stemming from vehicle emissions, industrial processes, and other sources—is associated with numerous potentially life-threatening health issues. Studies indicate that air pollution, particularly ozone, which is on the rise due to climate change, can accelerate lung diseases as severely as smoking a pack of cigarettes. (Shutterstock)

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4. Lung damage in unborn child: Exposure to elevated pollution levels during pregnancy, regardless of personal asthma history, heightens the likelihood of asthma development in the baby. Additionally, air pollution escalates the risk of lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Evidence suggests that inhaling particulate matter (PM) contributes to the onset of lung cancer. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) / TO GO WITH: India-pollution-health-children, FOCUS by Abhaya Srivastava(AFP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

4. Lung damage in unborn child: Exposure to elevated pollution levels during pregnancy, regardless of personal asthma history, heightens the likelihood of asthma development in the baby. Additionally, air pollution escalates the risk of lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Evidence suggests that inhaling particulate matter (PM) contributes to the onset of lung cancer. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) / TO GO WITH: India-pollution-health-children, FOCUS by Abhaya Srivastava(AFP)

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5. Allergies in children: Inhaling polluted air increases the likelihood of more children developing asthma and upper respiratory allergies in the near future. (PTI) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

5. Allergies in children: Inhaling polluted air increases the likelihood of more children developing asthma and upper respiratory allergies in the near future. (PTI)

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Dr Manchanda suggests reducing outdoor exposure during days when pollution levels are high, particularly if you have respiratory conditions. "Make sure to utilize N95 or N99 respirators when venturing outside to filter out fine particles. Lastly, it is in your best interest to keep yourself informed about the air quality in your area and improve indoor air quality by installing air purifiers within your home," says the expert.  (Sunil Ghosh/ Hindustan Times) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Dec 31, 2023 01:44 PM IST

Dr Manchanda suggests reducing outdoor exposure during days when pollution levels are high, particularly if you have respiratory conditions. "Make sure to utilize N95 or N99 respirators when venturing outside to filter out fine particles. Lastly, it is in your best interest to keep yourself informed about the air quality in your area and improve indoor air quality by installing air purifiers within your home," says the expert.  (Sunil Ghosh/ Hindustan Times)

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