Even people without respiratory problem history coming for emergency treatment due to air pollution: Experts

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NEW DELHI: People living in Delhi NCR are gasping to breathe fresh air and even those who don’t have a history are suffering from respiratory problems, said health experts.

“Since the winters have arrived and the air quality index has already been about 400 AQI in last two to three days now, this smog is giving all types of respiratory problems. People are suffering from breathing issues like asthma, bronchitis. The symptoms are increasing,” said Dr Nikhil Modi, Respiratory medicine specialist Apollo Indraprastha hospital.

Dr Nikhil Modi said that the patients are coming to OPDs, emergencies. Apart from that, even people who’ve never had any issues are facing problems like runny nose, sneezing, nose block, throat irritation, persistent cough and even breathing difficulties.

“The major issue that we have seen is increased number of outpatients who have been coming to us with increased cough with sputum productions increased breathlessness, wheezing, especially those patients who have never had these symptoms before. So, already those patients who have bronchial asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease are coming with pneumonia or increased wheezing, we have to put them on steroids or nebulisations,” said Dr Avi Kumar, Pulmonologist, Fortis Escorts Hospital.

Dr Avi further added that studies have shown that newer patients can develop new types of allergies or throat allergies or respiratory allergies in the form of bronchial asthma.

“Constant or chronic exposure to air pollution can lead to COPD. Increased exposure to air pollution can even lead to lung cancer. Studies have shown that many patients can develop new onset pneumonia with increased incidence of tuberculosis due to the constant exposure to air pollution,” said Dr Avi.

“We have seen or OPDs full with many patients post-Diwali season and right now, I think it is the peak of the air pollution levels we have seen. So a lot of inpatients and outpatients we are being seen,” he said.Dr Avi suggested that one must stay at home and avoid going for morning walks since the level of pollution is more than it is in the afternoon.

“You can apply air purifiers at home so that during the night time you can take cleaner air you can inhale third times whenever you go out to apply masl or do not go in crowded places. Those patients who have respiratory issues or cardiac issues can take flu vaccines regularly every year,” he said explaining how to protect yourself from air pollution. (ANI)

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