The air quality in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) dropped to a dangerous level after Diwali. A thick layer of fog has covered the national capital leading to many health problems. Many people complain of difficulty in breathing, irritation in the eyes, running nose, skin allergy, rashes and constant coughing. These short-term symptoms may subside as the pollution level drops but continuous exposure to pollutants may affect the lining of the lungs and increase the risk of respiratory diseases like asthma, lung fibrosis, allergic rhinitis, and bronchitis.
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People already suffering from respiratory problems like asthma are more likely to experience problems like constant severe coughing and shortness of breath. Asthma patients need to limit their exposure to harmful pollutants.
Wear an N95 mask all the time
Always wear an N95 mask covering your nose and mouth properly, so that fumes don’t enter your lungs and cause irritation that can trigger an asthma attack. Protective eye gear is also recommended to help prevent the entry of particles into the eyes as also irritation by fumes.
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Avoid stepping outside if not necessary
People with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma should limit their exposure to smoke and step outside only when necessary. Take all prescribed medicines to prevent any symptoms. Avoid going for morning or evening walks till the time the air quality improves.
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Improve indoor air quality
Our houses also have some level of pollutants. Cooking gas, open windows and ventilators can increase the air pollutant level indoors. To improve the indoor air quality you can clean your rugs, carpets, curtains, and ventilators. You can place air-purifying indoor plants and keep your doors and windows closed when the air quality outside is poor. If the conditions are severe, install an air purifier at your home.
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Steam therapy helps to clear the airways and allows us to breathe properly. It involves inhalation of water vapor and moist warm air to loosen the mucus in nasal passages, throat and lungs. It may also cure inflamed, swollen blood vessels in your nasal passages.
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Eat a balanced diet
Include specific anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, cruciferous vegetables, cherries, olives, and walnuts in your diet. Turmeric, milk, jaggery and honey are some other food items that can reduce inflammation in the lungs, clear mucus and boost immunity.