Excessive exposure to air pollution can trigger lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is because pollutants present in the air tend to get deeply lodged into your lungs and irritate them, in turn, even damaging the respiratory tract, explained Dr Arvind Kate, Pulmonologist at Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur.
“If you are constantly exposed to air pollution and experience breathing problems, your symptoms may worsen. Air pollution negatively impacts the lungs, and is especially harmful to people already living with COPD,” said Dr Kate.
What is COPD and how is it linked to air pollution?
COPD can be described as a lung condition that causes narrowing of the airways and may even lead to permanent scarring of the lungs. Constant exposure to air pollution tends to cause lung inflammation, and one may even suffer from many diseases at a later stage. COPD may progress faster in people with damaged lungs.
Heavy traffic and poor air quality can deteriorate one’s health by affecting the lungs and causing constant coughing and breathing problems and increased morbidity. Not only this, air pollution can trigger respiratory infections that can further cause COPD attacks.
Tips to deal with COPD
*COPD has no cure but patients with this condition usually go for pulmonary rehabilitation, a supervised program that includes exercise training, health education, and breathing techniques, remarked Dr Kate.
*Due to the current pandemic, it is essential to take care of one’s lungs by not exposing yourself to air pollution, doing breathing exercises, and following a well-balanced diet. Similarly, smoking is a strict no-no. Those who already have COPD or those who have just developed the condition should quit smoking by opting for smoking cessation therapy.
*Stay stress-free and do yoga and meditation every day. Doing so will help you to maintain an optimum weight.
“It is essential to raise awareness regarding COPD and act accordingly. Do not ignore your lung problems and try to improve your quality of life by staying fit and healthy,” said Dr Kate.
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