New Delhi: Delhi's air pollution level has hit a new high this winter, leaving its people gasping for breath.
The smog that blankets the city is a result of high air pollution combined with no-wind cold weather conditions.
"With little or no signs of improvement, we, on an individual level, have to find ways to beat it," says Dr. Walia Murshida Huda, (Senior Medical Officer, Healthians, MBBS, MBA (H.C.A), FICM Walia.
The dip in the air quality poses serious health concerns particularly in the children, the elderly and those already suffering with lung diseases and asthma.
It is not unlikely that many around must have complained of a heavy chest, itchy eyes and irritation in throat.
The current smog-laden air can lead to:
• Burning eyes
• Dry throat
• Itchy skin
• Irritation in the nose
• Breathing problems, like increase in lung diseases and asthma
• Rise in blood pressure
The smog crisis has disrupted our lives leaving us with no option but to protect ourselves.
Here are few small but effective steps that can help you fight this battle against pollution.
-Limit your outdoor exposure
Though it cannot be followed by all, staying indoors is the best option available in the current scenario. For children and senior citizens, it is advisable to stay indoors from immediate basis as they are most sensitive to the poor air quality. Avoid going out during the peak hours when pollution is extremely high. Any outdoor sports activities should be avoided. Morning and evening walks should be avoided for now.
-Deep breathing exercises
Certain breathing exercises can help in keeping away the toxic effects of these air pollutants. Yoga exercises practised indoors will help. A deep breathing exercise like Pranayam is recommended. But these should be done on a regular basis.
-Wear a mask and full sleeve clothes
Do not forget to wear full-sleeve clothes and a mask when you step out next. N95 and N99 pollution masks are most effective in the given circumstances. If you do not have a mask, use a clean cloth to cover the mouth.
-Eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids
Vitamin C and omega fatty acids will help boost immunity. Add jaggery, tulsi, honey, ginger, lemon, basil leaves and lots of water to your daily diet. Warm water with a dash of honey and two-three tulsi leaves in the morning will help.
-Steam with eucalyptus oil
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to hot water and then inhale the steam. This acts as a natural purifier for the lungs.
Wash your hands and face every few hours. Change your clothes when you are home from work. A hot shower daily may help in removing the pollutants from your body.
-Avoid two wheelers and auto-rickshaws. Opt for carpool or public transport
Travelling by an auto-rickshaw and two wheelers will increase your exposure to the toxic air. It is advisable to use various modes of public transport such as a bus or a metro or carpool.
-Purify the air indoors
Plants like money plant, mother-in-law's tongue, areca palm, chrysanthemum, aloe vera, ficus will help purify the air indoors. If you have kids, elderly or asthma patients at home, then it is advisable to invest in a good air purifier.