Friday , April 23 2021

Staying at Home Can Lead to Respiratory Diseases: 5 Ways to Improve Air Quality at Work and at Home

From Dr. Sandeep HS

Most of us live believing that the air inside our homes is safe to breathe. However, indoor air is sometimes even more polluted than outside. Indoor air pollutants can trigger respiratory discomfort, lung diseases, and exacerbations of COPD.

Air pollution indoors is an important risk factor for the development of chronic respiratory diseases.

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common, preventable and treatable respiratory disease characterized by persistent symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and sputum production.

Suffering from persistent cough? It may be a sign of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Tens of millions of people worldwide suffer from COPD, a life-threatening lung disease that encompasses many conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

COPD: in numbers

More than 400 million people worldwide suffer from COPD. In India, the expected cases of COPD are around 15 million, of whom 9 million are men and 6 million are women.

COPD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the world, leading to about 6% of all deaths.

Risk factors

Smoking is an important risk factor for COPD worldwide. However, there is an increase in cases of non-smoking COPD, especially in developing countries such as India, where indoor air quality is low.

World No Tobacco Day: Smoking can hurt the eyes, bones and brain

Exciting killings

May 31, 2018

Most smokers believe that smoking is legal. No matter how you turn yourself in, tobacco is harmful to your health. Tobacco contains more than 7,000 known toxins and 70 carcinogens (chemicals that increase the risk of cancer) and can damage almost every organ in the body.

Dr. Sachin Kumar, Senior Consultant of Pulmonology at Sakra World Hospital, explains how smoking affects every part of your body.

The next time you are tempted to take a drag, stop for a minute and think about the consequences of your indulgence.

It has been proven that passive smoke or Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) contains the same hazardous chemicals as cigarettes, including formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. It is estimated that 7% of women, who use biomass and have never smoked in their lifetime, also suffer from COPD.

Most of our rural population still depends on biomass fuel for cooking. The smoke emitted by these fuels creates dangerous chemicals that can lead to respiratory problems such as COPD if people are exposed to it for a longer period of time.

The other risk factors for people staying at home are common biological pollutants such as mold, pollen, animal hair and dust mites.

Can COPD be reversed?

This condition can not be completely reversed, but a healthy lifestyle and appropriate treatment can help in controlling the disease.

In general, men and women are exposed to air pollutants indoors and are 2-3 times more likely to be diagnosed with respiratory conditions. People spend most of their time indoors. Therefore, it is essential to take immediate steps to improve indoor air quality.


Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality:
– Wash clothes frequently to get rid of mites. Keeping the internal humidity level below 50% can also help.

– Avoid smoking indoors to improve air quality.

– Keeping the plants indoors can be a health benefit. Several studies suggest that indoor plants can significantly reduce indoor air pollution.

– Air filtration units can also be used to improve indoor air quality. The use of LPG instead of cooking biomass fuel can significantly reduce the level of internal pollution.

Simple measures taken to improve air quality inside homes and offices can significantly reduce the burden of chronic respiratory diseases.

(Author is pneumologist consultant at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals in Bengaluru)

Better skin, more economy and other amazing benefits of saying no to smoking

Kick ass

June 11, 2018

Usually, the urge to smoke lasts only a few minutes. Every time you feel the urge to swallow, drink plenty of water to lessen craving.

One of the main reasons behind the urge to smoke is due to stress. So, keep stress at bay by practicing yoga and engaging in therapeutic activities such as dancing, gardening and playing your favorite sport.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing cancer and several other diseases. However, Pooja Duggal, CEO of HealthHunt, shares another five benefits of saying no to smoking.

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