Amidst the ongoing struggle with air pollution in Delhi and its neighbouring areas, the situation remains grim, with air quality plummeting to severe levels. This persistent pollution poses a serious threat to our health, especially our lungs. The harmful pollutants like ozone, particulate matter, and nitrogen dioxide can inflame our lungs, causing respiratory problems such as difficulty in breathing, allergies, and asthma.
To curb this, it’s crucial to adopt healthy lifestyle practices and a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants and nutrients to shield our body and lungs from the adverse effects of pollution. Adequate hydration, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and regular physical activity are key contributors to enhancing lung capacity.
Dr Puneet Gupta, Head – Department of Pulmonology, Interventional Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Yatharth Hospital, Noida Extension shares some effective measures to protect ourselves in the face of escalating air pollution.
– Limit Outdoor Activities: While physical exercise is crucial, it is advisable to refrain from outdoor activities such as morning walks or jogging during peak pollution times. Consider shifting your exercise routine to afternoon time when the smog tends to settle.
– Use Respiratory Masks: Employ N95/99 masks whenever you step outside to minimize exposure to harmful pollutants. These masks act as a crucial barrier, reducing the inhalation of toxic particles.
– Indoor Air Purification: Enhance the quality of indoor air by introducing air-purifying plants like Aloe Vera, Ivy, and Spider Plant. These plants not only add a touch of greenery but also help in purifying the air within your living spaces.
– Proper Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in your living spaces, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, to minimize indoor pollution. Installing exhaust systems and using chimneys can aid in maintaining air quality. Open windows and doors between 3 pm – 5 pm on bright, sunny days. This specific time slot often sees the lowest concentration of PM 2.5 particles in the air.
– Protect Children: Shield young children, especially those under the age of 8, from outdoor exposure. If possible, coordinate with school authorities to suspend outdoor activities during periods of high pollution.
– Utilize Air Purifiers: Consider using air purifiers, particularly in rooms frequented by vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women. This extra layer of protection can significantly reduce the impact of harmful pollutants.
– Natural Detoxification: Include jaggery in your diet as a natural way to help your body eliminate pollutants from your lungs (not recommended for diabetic patients).
– Nutrient-Rich Diet: Consume a diet rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, and foods containing Omega Fatty Acids. A well-balanced diet supports your immune system, helping you combat the adverse effects of pollution.
– Herbal Remedies: Consider incorporating herbal ginger and tulsi tea into your daily routine. These concoctions possess anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in minimizing the effects of pollution.
These preventive measures, along with dietary adjustments, can play a pivotal role in safeguarding our respiratory and overall health during periods of heightened air pollution.