Drop in mercury level gives rise to respiratory ailments

The Times of India , Monday, November 11, 2013
Correspondent :
KANPUR: With the sudden rise in air pollution, especially after Diwali and early onset of winter, the cases of respiratory ailments and asthma have increased. According to the doctors, the number of patients with these problems has increased by 15% to 30% and the number is expected to rise with further drop in mercury.

Apart from respiratory ailments, the climate change has also aggravated blood pressure and heart related problems in people. According to doctors proper precautions are necessary to keep fit during season change.

"Asthma patients suffer most during Diwali as the dust and smoke caused by firecrackers and 'diyas' pollute the environment and surroundings to maximum extent. And it is worse as Diwali falls at the time of arrival of winters giving a tough time to the patients suffering from respiratory problems especially asthma," said, Dr Sudhir Chaudhary, head of Morari Lal Chest Hospital associated with Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College.

He added that not only asthma but the cases of chronic bronchitis, lower respiratory tract infection like pneumonia are also being reported at the hospital in large numbers during this time of the season.

The pollutants in the air result in inflammation of airways, thereby, blocking it. Children and elderly people stand a high chance of suffering an asthma attack or a serious episode of bronchitis in this season.

There are some heavy metals in the air that might trigger allergic reactions. Throat and eye infections are also very common at this time. The experts advise parents and family members of asthma patients to take extra care of the patients during pre-winters.

Dr SK Singh, former principal of GSVM and renowned chest specialist said the patients with chest infections, respiratory problems and asthmatic problems are on the rise during winter period due to the climate change.

"When the body is exposed to cold weather it produces more heat. The energy is used in overcoming cold thus, immunity drops. Persons with less immunity, such as elderly people and diabetics are more prone to diseases in this season. The dry cold weather aggravates asthma problems," added Dr SK Singh.

Experts added that because of the high air pollution in the city, the polluted air remain stagnated at the lower level. As respiratory problems increase, people come with complaints such as cold, sore throat, cough and sneezing, among others. When the weather is cold, the blood vessels get constricted. If a patient is already suffering from blood pressure and heart diseases, the sudden exposure to cold weather can lead to further complications, said experts.

Talking about the precautionary measures, Dr Anil Nigam, ex-director of Ursula Horseman Hospital said good exercise of joints and keeping warm helps in maintaining good health. Also, people with neurological problems, who have muscle stiffness, should take similar additional precaution during this period.

Doctors advise people to take precautions such as avoiding cold food, keeping warm, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, maintaining moisture in the skin and maintaining personal hygiene to prevent diseases.

SOURCE : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Drop-in-mercury-level-gives-rise-to-respiratory-ailments/articleshow/25579708.cms

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