New Delhi: As Delhi air pollution reached alarming levels and leaving everyone gasping for breath, hospitals in the national capital witnessed a 100 percent spike in the number of patients with respiratory problems.
On Thursday, all the 10 pollution monitoring stations of the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar) recorded ‘beyond severe’ or 500-plus units of particulate matter, with the PM2.5 and PM10 reaching 546 and 895 units respectively. Read: How jaggery can help protect your lungs from Delhi’s air – Weight loss, 4 other health benefits
The safe limit for PM2.5 and PM10 as per international standards is 25 and 60 microgrammes per cubic meters, whereas as per national standards it is 40 and 100 units, respectively.
The current smog scenario in the national capital is so bad that anti-pollution masks and air purifiers may not provide full protection, and are not completely effective, according to health experts, who have also cautioned residents of venturing out due to excessive pollution.
Earlier this week, addressing a press conference in New Delhi, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria compared the current Delhi’s air with the Great Smog of London in 1952, which is estimated to have killed nearly 4,000 people within a week.
While the air quality in the national capital remained severe and smog continued to envelop the city, there are certain steps you can take to help reduce your risk of health problems, including respiratory ailments. Here are a few tips you can follow to detoxify your lungs, increase their capacity, and keep them healthy:
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important to help the body resist infection, including the lungs. Consume a variety of organic foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients to boost your system strong, including the ones that make up the respiratory tract.
Try to consume more foods rich in Vitamins C and E, which can be beneficial for cleaning your system – especially your airways – as well as reducing the impact of air pollution on your health. Read: Air pollution – Five foods that can reduce harmful effects of smog
Drink enough water
Drink plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses, to stay well and hydrated. Drinking adequate amount of water helps to flush toxins out from the body, as well as thin the mucus lining your airways and lungs.
Do some yoga exercises
Try doing some yoga exercises that offer various health benefits and are helpful for managing different respiratory problems, such as asthma. Yoga poses like sukha pranayama, kapalbhati, bhastrika, bhramari yoga and sheetali yoga have been shown to help maintain and increase lung health. But, given the current air pollution level in Delhi, you should do yoga in your home only. Read: Delhi air pollution – 10 tips to stay safe and healthy
Stay indoors as much as you can. If you have to go out, wear a good quality face mask that can help reduce your risk of inhaling harmful particles in the air. Also, avoid the areas with smoke or heavy dust that can cause allergies, sinus infections and breathing problems in children and adults alike.
Avoid or quit smoking
In case you smoke, quit it immediately. This is one of the best things you can do for your respiratory health. Thousands of chemicals in the cigarette smoke can reduce the capacity and efficiency of your lungs.
Practice basic hygiene
Practice good personal hygiene to reduce your risk of infection such as –
- Regularly washing your hands with soap and clean water – before preparing and eating food, and after blowing your nose or using the washroom.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and face without washing hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or a cough.
- Keep your household surfaces clean by vacuuming regularly.
In addition to the above suggested tips, if one has any heart ailments or chronic respiratory disease or asthma, they should continue medication as advised by physician. And in case of any difficulty in breathing, increase in breathing rate, palpitations or severe bout of coughing and/or sneezing, seek medical assistance.