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Home > Blog > Essential Measures to Safeguard Your Lungs from Rising Pollution after Diwali in Delhi

Essential Measures to Safeguard Your Lungs from Rising Pollution after Diwali in Delhi

Essential Measures to Safeguard Your Lungs from Rising Pollution after Diwali in Delhi

Max Lab

Nov 07, 2023

Diwali is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year which celebrates good’s triumph over evil. However, the festival of lights also leads to a major dip in the air quality and a rise in pollution levels in Delhi and its neighbouring areas due to widespread use of firecrackers. Every year, one sees forecasts from System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) indicating the air quality index (AQI) deteriorating to “Very Poor” or “Severe” quality around Diwali. In fact, breathing during such high levels of pollution in Delhi is like smoking about 10-12 cigarettes in a day. Thus, pollution negatively impacts your lungs and overall health.

How Does Air Pollution have Detrimental Effects on Lungs?

While the colourful explosions in the sky bring joy to many, theyalso release harmful pollutants causing air pollution which have detrimental effects on our lungs. The air we breathe in Delhi contains a variety of harmful substances including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and heavy metals, which are released into the atmosphere during Diwali celebrations. In the recent years, the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi have made it nearly impossible for the city’s residents to maintain healthy lungs. These pollutants can penetrate deep into the lungs, leading to a host of health problems. Some of the harmful effects of air pollution on lungs include:

  • Respiratory Irritation

Short-term exposure to elevated levels of air pollution can result in immediate respiratory distress, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and sore throat. This is especially common in the days following Diwali.

  • Aggravation of Existing Conditions

Those with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are particularly vulnerable. Increased air pollution can worsen these conditions, leading to more frequent and severe attacks.

  • Reduced Lung Function

Prolonged exposure to air pollution can harm lungs, impairing their function and growth, particularly in children. This not only affects their immediate health but also puts them at risk of long-term lung issues.

  • Increased Risk of Respiratory Infections

Air pollution weakens the immune system and makes individuals more susceptible to respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

What Measures Can You Take To Safeguard your Lungs From Air Pollution?

To safeguard your lungs for a healthy life, it is essential to take certain measures around Diwali celebrations, when pollution levels tend to rise. Here are some of the measures that one can take to reduce the harmful impact of air pollution on your lungs-

  • Check Air Quality

 Perhaps, one of the first steps towards protecting your lungs from air pollution, is to keep a check on the air quality on the days preceding and following Diwali. A rise in AQI levels indicates higher exposure to toxins in the air, which can be hazardous.

  • Limit Outdoor Activities

To protect your lungs from the post-Diwali air pollution, it's wise to limit outdoor activities, especially during the peak hours when pollution levels are at their highest. Stay indoors as much as possible. This is especially important for those who have pre-existing lung conditions.

  • Use Air Purifiers

Investing in a high-quality air purifier is a valuable step towards ensuring clean indoor air. Air purifiers with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can effectively remove particulate matter from the air, improving indoor air quality. Air purifiers are very helpful in households which have children, elderly or individuals with breathing problems as air pollution affects them the most.

  • Close Windows and Doors

If you cannot afford an air purifier then another good way to keep your surroundings pollution free is to keep your doors and windows closed.  This prevents outdoor pollutants from entering your home, saving you from the harmful effects of air pollution on lungs. Make sure to seal any gaps or cracks that may allow polluted air to seep in.

  • Wear N95 Masks

When venturing outside, wearing N95 masks can help reduce your exposure to harmful particles. These masks are designed to filter out fine particulate matter and are widely available in stores. Ensure that you replace your mask once every two to three days.

  • Maintain Hydration and Diet

Staying well-hydrated helps your body flush out toxins more effectively. It also helps in maintaining respiratory mucus. Further, incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, such as fruits and vegetables, can support the health of your lungs and protect against air pollution.

  • Limit Physical activity

During periods of elevated air pollution, it's advisable to limit strenuous physical activities, especially outdoor exercises. Heavy breathing during exercise can lead to a higher intake of polluted air, increasing the risk of lung irritation. Instead, opt for indoor workouts or less strenuous activities to reduce exposure.

  • Quit Smoking

If you're a smoker, quitting is one of the most effective steps you can take to protect your lungs. Smoking combines with the effects of air pollution to further increase the risk of respiratory issues and lung diseases. If you don't smoke, it's crucial to stay away from secondhand smoke as well, as it can be equally harmful to your lung health.

  • Consult A Doctor If You Feel Unwell

If you experience persistent symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or any other signs of respiratory distress, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can mitigate the impact of air pollution on your lungs.

In a city like Delhi, where air pollution levels tend to spike dramatically after Diwali, safeguarding your lungs is of utmost importance. Understanding the adverse effects of air pollution on your lungs and respiratory health and implementing preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of getting lung conditions. By following the tips mentioned above, you can enjoy a healthy and pollution-free post-Diwali period, ensuring that you breathe easy and maintain healthy lungs for years to come.

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