Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
Delhi's worsening air quality is taking a toll on its residents' health. Since the past few days, the national capital has been grappling with high levels of pollution with the suspended particulate matters (PM10 and PM2.5) reaching far above the WHO safety benchmark.
As the pollution levels rise in winter, chances of acquiring respiratory infections also increase simultaneously.
The most common respiratory infections include allergies and asthma as well as more serious problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.
Children, the elderly and people who have compromised immune systems are at greater risk.
Symptoms may include – sneezing, runny nose, congestion in the nasal sinuses, sore throat, body aches, fever, headache, shortness of breath, etc.
Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of respiratory illnesses and infections-
- The first line of defense in reducing the infections is to limit exposure to pollution.
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and a diet rich in vitamin C, which can reduce the effects of air pollution
- Drink plenty of water
- Do not smoke, if you smoke, stop doing it
- Avoid passive smoking
- Avoid industrialized areas where pollution levels are high and air quality is at dangerous levels
- Close the car's windows during peak traffic hours
- Make sure that children wear anti-pollution masks while going outdoors
- Practice good hygiene such as washing hands frequently, especially after you’ve been in a public place
- In case you suffer from asthma, ensure that you always keep an inhaler handy
- Install a high quality air filter or air purifier system at home to help protect against various diseases caused by air pollution