Smog can be a killer.
Delhi woke up to a blanket of smog on November 7 with air quality touching hazardous levels.
The air quality index was very severe with high particulate matter at a 2.5 level at many places, leading the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to declare a 'public health emergency' in Delhi.
Air pollution poses a major health risk and can cause stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases. About 88 per cent of premature deaths occur in the low- and middle-income countries, where air pollution is escalating at an alarming rate.
As the dense smog continues to engulf the national capital, Dr Vikas Maurya from Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi lists how residents can protect themselves from the harmful effects of the smog.
What are the harmful effects of a smog?
- It can lead to the onset of allergies or aggravate already existing allergies and decrease in lung immunity.
- It might be instrumental in causing premature birth.
- It can cause decrease in the lung function in all age groups.
- It might aggravate pre-existing lung and cardiac functions along with uncontrollable or chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
What are the necessary preventive measures?
- People should avoid going outdoors along with doing physical activities like cycling, jogging.
- 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, and foods rich in omega fatty acids.
- Have herbal ginger and tulsi tea.