By – Dr Vikas Maurya, Director & HOD – Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh
As the winter season has come and we know that in winter, the air is dry and there is no moisture which irritates the airway. There is an increase in air pollution and fog because of a decrease in the temperature which produces smog and which causes more problems in the patients as well as those who are normal individuals. It can cause an increase in respiratory diseases as well as in cardiovascular diseases.
In this weather, patients complain of upper respiratory infections, viral infections, pneumonia, asthma attacks, COPD attacks, and also cardiovascular disease as well.
There are certain tips which we can employ so that we can have a reduced effect of the smog. Most important is that we should stay indoors as much as possible. If it is not required to go outside for work, I think we should stay inside especially when we are having increased air pollution and smog. And if you’re going outside then we should definitely wear a mask. So, by this, we would be able to reduce exposure to air pollution as well as to smog.
Secondly, I think we should do certain physical activities at home or the gym so that we should remain healthy. And this will prevent us from getting routine infections or diseases. And also we should avoid exercising outside with the smog as it causes more respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. So, we must do physical activity at home or in the gym only.
Third, we must maintain hydration. Drink plenty of water unless and until the doctor has asked you to drink less water because of certain diseases. You should maintain hydration and drink plenty of water so that your blood flow is good and you’re able to remove some pollutant particles from your airways and blood.
Then fourth, you should have a healthy diet. Very important, because if you have healthy diet, you will have good immunity. You will be able to fight more with diseases as well.
Fifth, I think we should avoid tobacco and smoke. And it’s very important that people should not smoke actively as well as passively because this causes more problems during winter. We have the more respiratory diseases during winter. Therefore, avoidance of tobacco smoke has become very, very important at this point in time when you have increased smog as well.
Sixth, we should have proper ventilation at home. At this time when it’s so cold, we should not open the windows in the early morning or in the evening. At a time when the sun is at its peak, that’s the time when we can open the windows and we can have proper ventilation at home as well. This helps in keeping the air clean in the winter season.
And last but not least very important is to get vaccinated, specifically for those who are at risk like children, the elderly, and those who have comorbidities like diabetes, asthma, or chronic kidney disease, or chronic lung disease or chronic liver disease or any other high-risk population, they should always get vaccinated.