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Air Pollution - Health Effects and Tips to Reduce it's Effect

11 Dec, 2015

Air pollution is becoming a major health issue affecting people of all age groups in Delhi. Delhi's pollution was reported as being nearly 30 times higher than WHO's safety benchmark. The aerosols, ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO).smoke, fumes, dust, ash, in the air  when inhaled can have serious impact on your health, affecting the lungs and as well as the heart..

Who is affected the most ?

While air pollution is hazardous to everyone’s health, children especially infants, elderly and those with compromised immunity are at greater risk. In children, air pollution can:


  • Make asthma symptoms worse
  • Increase respiratory infections
  • Adversely affect  lung function
  • Cause allergic reactions
  • Increase sickness rates and absenteeism at schools


What are the health effects of Air pollution ?

  The most common respiratory infections include allergies and asthma as well as more serious problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. Symptoms may include – sneezing, runny nose, congestion in the nasal sinuses, sore throat, body aches, fever, headache, shortness of breath, etc. Air pollution can trigger heart attacks, strokes, and irregular heart rhythms, particularly in people already at risk for these conditions, such as smokers. If you have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, or have a family history of stroke or early heart disease, you too are at risk. (Weather extremes (extreme cold and heat) and high pollution sometimes can work together to make it particularly dangerous for those at risk.) Rephrase – Extreme weather coupled with high pollution levels is particularly dangerous for people who fall in the above risk categories. Other health hazards of high pollution.


  • Skin: Increasing pollution leaves your skin dry and susceptible to various skin allergies and infections.
  • Hair: Winter, especially a dry winter along with pollution can make your hair dull and dry.
  • Nasal blockage/nasal irritability
  • Eye infections: Dry eyes or burning sensation in your eyes. Pollution can sometimes cause eye infections and conjunctivitis.
  • Immunity: Toxic air can also adversely affect your body's immunity, thus making you prone to various diseases.


Health Tips

Here are a few tips to reduce the effects of air pollution on your health,


  • Limit your exposure to pollution. Stayindoors, wear masks etc
  • Eat healthy! Have lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not smoke. Avoid passive smoking
  • Close car windows during peak traffic hours
  • Make sure children wear anti-pollution masks when outdoors
  • Practice good hygiene such as washing hands frequently, especially after you’ve been in a public place
  • In case you suffer from asthma, ensure that you always keep an inhaler handy
  • Visit  your local HCL Healthcare clinic or call to book an appointment for more advice and help.