Delhi’s AQI has hit a massive high and while it is deteriorating, it is still in the Severe category. This recurring problem in Delhi after every Diwali has led to several health problems since the last couple of years and it only keeps increasing.
Polluted air is a health emergency. Air pollution threatens everyone, be it unborn babies, school children, people who step out for work or even stay indoors. Asthma, other respiratory diseases and heart disease are part of the adverse health effects related to air pollution and smog.
According to the World Health Organization, about 7 million premature deaths are attributed each year to air pollution, 800 people per hour or 13 per minute. Overall, air pollution is responsible for more deaths than many other risk factors, such as malnutrition, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity.
Thus, in the wake of the current situation in Delhi, it is advisable to take all the measures to safeguard yourself from the smog and air pollution.
Here are some tips to safeguard your health:
- Avoid stepping out after sunset and before sunrise.
- Use high quality masks like the N95 and N99. Cheap quality air masks are not beneficial as they do not prevent the fine particles from entering your system.
- Children should be encouraged to play indoors at school and homes. Playing in parks or school playgrounds can lead to throat infections and other health complications.
- Exercising outdoors is best avoided during this period. When you engage in physical activity, you breathe more deeply and more often. You are, thus, more in touch with the pollutants of the air. Limit your physical activities and reduce their intensity in polluted places.
- Workout in closed gyms or at home preferably in the mornings or before sunset.
- If you have heart or breathing problems, Keep your medications with you as a precaution at all times.
- Use air purifiers indoors and keep windows and doors closed if the air quality index in your area is higher.
- Add immunity boosting foods like peanuts, almonds, oranges, mausambi, sunflower seeds must be added to your diet. These foods also help in detoxifying the body.
- Swap your morning cuppa with a glass of hot turmeric milk. You can also add cloves, ginger or tulsi leaves while brewing your green tea. These will help keep infections and allergies at bay.
- Adding bananas to your diet can also help combat asthmatic symptoms. If you are prone to wheezing, have a banana along with a glass of apple juice daily. Bananas will also improve lung functioning.
- Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated is a must. Drink lukewarm water to soothe your throat and prevent any throat infections.
- Prefer car pooling or walking to nearby places to play your part in preventing air pollution from getting worse.
You may not be able to control the air quality outside, but you can ensure that the air inside your home is of good quality. Here are some tips:
- Be sure to reduce or eliminate the main sources of pollutants
- Avoid smoking indoors
- Regulate water infiltration problems to prevent mold growth
- Use preferably healthy, environmentally friendly household materials and products for cleaning
- Add indoor plants like the Spider, bamboo palm, Aloe Vera, anthurium, ivy or snake plant as these can help purify the air indoors.
The effects of air pollution vary according to the degree of sensitivity of each person. You can take certain precautions to improve your well-being and reduce the damaging effects of air pollution for your health or that of your loved ones.