Diwali is synonymous with the bursting of crackers, which leads to a lot of pollution. It can cause problems for those suffering from asthma, chronic pulmonary disorders, and other respiratory issues, warns Dr Farah Ingale, director-internal medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi — a Fortis Network Hospital.
“The toxic fumes that firecrackers emit can increase the risk of complexities for people infected with Covid, or those vulnerable to it. A study by Harvard University and another published in the journal Cardiovascular Research states exposure to air pollution increases the risk of mortality and severe symptoms of Covid,” the doctor explains, adding that smoke and pollution can give rise to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
According to her, here is what you should do to protect your lungs during Diwali:
* Avoid lighting candles and diyas indoors, which will keep indoor pollution in check. One can use sustainable LED lights as they do not release particulate matter.
* Avoid places where people are bursting firecrackers; usually harmful chemicals are emitted from them.
* Wear a face mask while stepping out. Opt for an anti-pollution face mask that can prevent fumes from making their way into the respiratory system.
* Try to stay indoors with the air condition on, if possible, to avoid feeling too suffocated.
* Invest in an air purifier as it can be useful in the present circumstances. Air purifiers filter out the pollutants, toxins and allergens from indoor air.
* People with pre-existing respiratory conditions must keep their emergency medicines, nebulizers and other medical kits handy. Make sure you take your medication, if any.
* If you are asthmatic or suffer from respiratory illness, keep a rescue inhaler with you.
* Eat nutritious food consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables. This may improve your overall health.
* Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent hyperacidity.
* Any person suffering from a persistent cough, wheezing or breathlessness must reach out to a doctor and avoid coming in contact with other family members.