The Impact of Air Pollution on Lungs: Know From Expert

The lungs are one of the most vital organs of the body that is responsible for carrying oxygen. With a spike in lung diseases in the country, out of the total global cases of chronic respiratory diseases, 32·0% occurred in India. Highlighting the impact of external stimuli, including germs, allergens, and pollutants on the lungs, Dr. Prashant Saxena | Best Lungs Specialist in Gurgaon shares his views on the adverse effect of air pollution on the body.

What is the current effect of air pollution?

Air pollution today affects millions of people all over the world and contributes to lakhs of deaths cases. In urban areas, 9 out of 10 people are affected by air pollution and suffer from some form of lung problems as they live outside the city and don't use public transport. If we talk about rural areas, people are much healthier because air is less polluted.

How does air pollution affect the lungs?

Air pollution is harmful to the body as there are many harmful particles that can severely affect and damage the lungs. These include minute dust particles, poisonous gases, fuel, and smoke that can irritate the lungs and cause problems. In most of cases, these gases mix with smoke and create smog. When these are inhaled, it causes severe damage to the lungs and can even cause major lung problems. Gases like Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide, and Carbon Dioxide are not only harmful to the lungs but can also affect the entire body. Moreover, particulate matter that is more than the size of 10 microns can be easily filtered in the nose. However, particulates less than the size of 5 or 2.5 microns can easily pass through the nasal area and easily be absorbed into the capillary and mixed with blood to damage the whole body. Dr. Prashant Saxena | Best Lungs Specialist in Gurgaon.

What are some of the common lung problems that are prevalent these days? Can it lead to other health ailments?

Air pollution causes many lung ailments like acute asthma, acute bronchitis and in case of persistent exposure to air pollution, it can cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). One of the biggest risk factors of lung cancer can also be through air pollution. The adverse effect of air pollution can increase the chances of pneumonia in both children and adults. Besides lungs, air pollution also affects many other organs including brain, memory, concentration, chances of dementia and in worst cases Alzheimer’s disease. Air pollution can even increase the chances of strokes, heart attack, chest pain, anxiety or an increase of heart rate. Dr. Prashant Saxena | Best Lungs Specialist in Gurgaon.

Is there a link between air pollution and pregnancy?

Yes. Constant exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can increase the risk of asthma in both mother and the newborn baby. This can even lead to several complications during delivery. If a child is suffering from breathing problems from an early stage, it can even cause paediatric asthma or pneumonia.

Can you suggest some tips to manage and limit air pollution?

As managing air pollution requires efforts from each and every individual, it is the duty of every person to act as one. One must stop burning garbage, rather these must be thrown at designated areas. As burning fuel largely contributes to the risk factors of air pollution, it is also recommended to use public transport while going to school or the office. Besides every society should make laws to limit air pollution as a whole. Dr. Prashant Saxena | Best Lungs Specialist in Gurgaon.

How can people suffering from lung or other forms of health problems take care of themselves?

People already suffering from lung problems like asthma or COPD should always keep their inhaler at a reachable distance at all times. If one is living near an area with too much air pollution, they must always be cautious and adhere to their doctor’s consultation. People suffering from heart disease also need to get frequent check-ups to avoid any complications. Besides, annual vaccination of insomnia and dementia should be taken after doctor’s consultation.

How can indoor pollution affect the lungs?

It is important to understand that indoor pollution is equally dangerous for the lungs and one must not ignite incense stick in a closed space. Smoking is also a major concern, especially among youngsters. Therefore, people need to be educated about the risk factors of active and passive smoking, especially in closed spaces. Dr. Prashant Saxena | Best Lungs Specialist in Gurgaon.