Even ‘very poor’ air can leave healthy people with illnesses, say doctors | Latest News India

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After two days of ‘severe’ pollution levels, Delhi’s air quality improved marginally to the ‘very poor’ category on Saturday, with the city recording an air quality index (AQI) of 381, according to the daily bulletin issued by Central Pollution. Control Board.

However, even that is enough for a young, healthy adult to develop respiratory complications, health experts said.

Dr Sumit Ray, head of the critical care department at Holy Family Hospital, said that coughing, sneezing, respiratory irritation, skin diseases and respiratory distress are some of the immediate impacts of the ongoing period of pollution on the Capital and the regions. around. . However, he said, prolonged exposure to high levels of pollution is known to cause bronchospasm, where the airway muscles that connect the throat to the lungs tighten and cause the airways to eventually narrow.

“Even for a healthy person, the long-term impact of such high and prolonged pollution can be serious. We’ve seen that if a healthy person isn’t a smoker, they’re usually unlikely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but now we’re seeing it more commonly in non-smokers, and it can be attributed to pollution. , ” Ray said. .

Dr Bhagwan Mantri, consultant pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Moolchand Hospital, said Delhi residents experience unsafe levels of pollution throughout the year. In winter, episodes become more severe, Mantri said, adding that such prolonged exposure to high levels of pollution, with episodic peaks reaching dangerous levels, leads over time to weakening of the respiratory system. a healthy person.

Dr Randeep Guleria, former director of AIIMS and head of the department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders, said pollution is a
Dr Randeep Guleria, former director of AIIMS and head of the department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders, said pollution is a “silent killer”.

Health experts said that the main sources of pollution in the capital are mainly particles, which can reach the bloodstream and lungs, causing serious health problems.

Dr Deepak Gupta, professor of neurosurgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), warned people who have recovered from Covid-19 to take extra care during times of high pollution levels.

“Not just relatively minor symptoms, such high levels of pollution can cause many more serious health complications, including lung cancer. Especially people who survived Covid-19 should be careful,” said Gupta.

Dr Randeep Guleria, former director of AIIMS and head of the department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders, said pollution is a “silent killer” and the impact of rising pollution in Delhi can be seen in the rise in the number of patients at AIIMS. with respiratory disease. disorders. “Pollution causes more damage than tobacco smoke. During peak pollution days, people should limit outdoor activities, but also limit their exposure to highly polluted areas. The burden of diseases caused by pollution is increasing,” said Guleria.


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