This Diwali 2018, take care of your respiratory health

Updated: Nov 29, 2018, 17:48 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Apart from patients with respiratory disorders, infants, children, elderly and pregnant women also are vulnerable to adverse health effects due to fire crackers

Representational Image
Representational Image

Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated widely across the country, is a time for joy, pomp and gaiety. However, it is also the same time when pollution levels across India hit the peak, making asthma patients more prone to attacks, besides causing an increase in cases of respiratory disorders like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and allergic rhinitis. Apart from patients with respiratory disorders, infants, children, elderly and pregnant women also are vulnerable to adverse health effects due to fire crackers. Even an apparently normal person can also develop symptoms. Owing to the large number of crackers and fireworks burst during the celebrations, the Supreme Court of India has recently come out with stringent guidelines for their manufacture and use. But the reality is that a good number of people will continue bursting crackers, making breathing conditions especially difficult for patients with respiratory conditions.

This Diwali, protect yourself and your loved ones, with a few simple measures, as suggested by Dr. Santosh Datar, Consultant Doctor and Medical Director, Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd.

Visit to Doctor

Well before Diwali preparations start, all patients with asthma and other respiratory disorders should visit their doctors for a check-up and adjust the medication dose as per her/his advice if necessary.

Healthy Life Style

It is important that the patient maintains healthy life style throughout the year. It includes good quality sleep, well-balanced nutritious diet, regular intake of water, regular exercise, breathingexercises, pranayama and yoga, stress reduction, avoiding smoking and alcohol etc. Medication dose should never be missed. A patient who follows a disciplined life style will be able to cope up better with Diwali pollution. Control sweet intake and stay well hydrated by regularly drinking water during Diwali.

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Stay away from crackers

People suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders should completely avoid areas and functions where crackers will be burst. When burnt, crackers emit harmful pollutants such as toxic metals, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, andsulphur dioxide, which, along with the smoke in the air, can trigger an asthma attack in both children and adults.

Avoid polluted areas

It is also advisable to avoid places with high levels of pollution, as well as the use of strong incense sticks and scented candles. If you absolutely must go out during this season, ensure that you’re carrying a handkerchief or a cloth, when stepping out of the house. The patients also must y also carry their inhaler all the time.

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Keep away from dust

Just as with any festival, Diwali preparations begin weeks in advance, with house-cleaning being an important part of the process. During this time, try to avoid being a part of the cleaning, as dust that is swept up can trigger asthma attacks and breathing problems. Keep your inhaler handy at all times as a quick-relief solution for breathlessness, before visiting your doctor.

Take a small holiday

If you find yourself unable to avoid situations or parties where crackers would be burst, get away from the city during Diwali. Take a short vacation to a hill station or the seaside, where the air is cleaner, besides also being a welcome getaway for you and your family.

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Keep emergency numbers handy

Respiratory symptoms are aggravated during and post Diwali. Hence, it is extremely essential to keep emergency ambulance numbers like 1298/ 108 and other local numbers within reach. Calling for help at the right time without losing valuable minutes can decrease the level of damage and raise chances of recovery and survival.

While there is plenty that an asthma patient can do to ensure they are safe this Diwali, keeping the larger picture in mind, as responsible individuals, you should ensure that you celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali. This will help make it a truly happy festival, for yourself, as well as the environment.

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