The national capital is witnessing a sharp increase in air pollution. Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 367, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category. It was 374 on Friday, 395 on Thursday, 297 on Wednesday, 312 on Tuesday, and 353 on Monday.
As the air turns foul, there has been a spike in the number of patients reporting respiratory ailments.
Delhi: Air Quality Index at 331 in 'very poor' category at ITO pic.twitter.com/u0vBFPm4cN
— ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2020
The concentration of major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 also remained high. According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitoring agency, SAFAR, the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM 2.5 pollution was 32 percent on Saturday.
Delhi pollution levels have become so high that citizens need to follow the prevention steps urgently. Air pollution can trigger the risk of respiratory ailments like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
Amid the rise in pollution levels, people are having problems with breathing, taking good care of the lungs is very important. Here are some expert-recommended tips you can follow.
How to preserve respiratory health from pollution?
Dr. Rajesh Chawla, senior pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in Delhi explained, “Short-term exposures to these fine particulate matters are shown to increase the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems.”
Dr. Chawla further said, “With poor air quality we are witnessing a surge in cases of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), especially in children as well as office-goers.”
“Wearing a face mask is the most effective way of keeping yourself safe from the impact of pollution particulate matters as well as Covid-19. N95 masks, which give dual protection, will help prevent tiny harmful toxic particles present in the air to diffuse into your respiratory system as well as protect you from Covid-19”, he added.
“Using protective eyewear like good quality sunglasses or eye shields can reduce exposure to particulate matter and fumes as toxic pollutants come in contact with the outer surface of the eye,” he further added.
To keep illness at bay, Dr. Chawla suggested taking the following precautionary measures:
- Boosting immunity can help you naturally fight the harmful effects of pollutants. Eat healthily and avoid oily and fatty foods. Eat healthily during the festive season, avoid drinking cold drinks as these can create additional levels of stress in your body which is already dealing with the harmful effects of smog.
- Avoid outdoor activities and exercises for some days; try doing a workout, cardio sessions indoors. Practicing breathing exercises, and yoga asanas can help you cleanse your lungs and stay fit from inside.
- Steam inhalation will help you to get rid of all sorts of respiratory issues by effectively reducing nasal congestion and clearing mucus out of your lungs.
- Check daily air pollution forecasts in your area. The forecasts can let you know when the air is unhealthy in your community.