Ever thought of stepping out of your house early in the morning to exercise, but the intense smog enveloping the atmosphere discouraged you? Presently, our society is reeling from the effects of multiple hazardous pollutants. The air quality index is usually above 500, which is severely polluted.
Our lungs filter approximately 10,000 litres of air every day, which might seem completely normal because that is what their job is. In actuality, when we breathe in dirty air in classic smog-like conditions, various pollutants and particulate matter enter the lungs and cause cellular damage.
Respiratory diseases have a direct nexus to the way we live and hence, they are preventable and manageable. Being related to lifestyle factors, they can be prevented and controlled to some extent by making healthy life choices.
During smog, what to do to prevent respiratory problems?
- Stay indoors, exercise at home, avoid going out for morning and evening walks
- Before outdoor activities check Air Quality with anti-pollution apps.
- If you have heart or respiratory problems, bring your medication with you when you go outdoors. Follow your doctor’s instructions properly to keep your symptoms under control.
- Limit exposure to irritants: Avoid exposure to airborne irritants, especially hair sprays, paints, aerosol products and insecticides.
- Vaccination: This is another way to protect against any further respiratory infection. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccine are a way of reducing the severity of the obstructive diseases.
- Maintain ventilation: Measures such as ventilating the home well by opening windows, using exhaust fans, avoiding the use of coal and wood for cooking, periodically cleaning chimneys/ furnaces and removing moulds will help.
Proper Diet and Exercises
- Increase fluid intake: For those who suffer from congestion increasing the fluid intake, breathing humidified air, use of expectorants, postural drainage to help drain the secretions and chest therapy are suggested to avoid exacerbation.
- Exercises targeted to strengthening limbs and walking are extremely helpful in improving endurance and reducing breathlessness
- Breath training: It involves exercises and devices that help to strengthen breathing muscles
- Resveratrol: A chemical found in red grapes, olive oil with many health benefits, may also be lung protective. So, include greater intake of them in your diet
For people with a chronic lung condition, Pulmonary Rehabilitation is an excellent recovery programme. It includes both exercises and lifestyle changes. Most people who go for Pulmonary Rehabilitation have the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but people with other long-term lung conditions like bronchiectasis and pulmonary fibrosis can also benefit from this. Its benefits include improved muscle strength, so you can use the oxygen you breathe more efficiently. It also helps you feel less fatigued and breathless doing day to day activities.
Goals of pulmonary rehabilitation
- Pulmonary rehabilitation aims to reduce symptoms, decrease disability, increase participation in physical and social activities, and improve the overall quality of life (QOL) for patients with the chronic respiratory disease.
- Patient and family education, exercise training, and outcome assessment helps achieve these goals.
With all the measures mentioned above, preventing respiratory problems is definitely possible and doable for people from all age-groups. Don’t forget to share with your family and friends and remember that HCAH stands by you in the fight against respiratory illness.
To avail pulmonary rehabilitation services for people suffering from chronic or ongoing lung diseases, contact us at 1800-102-4224.