Delhi Pollution: Expert tips to keep lungs safe

- February 16, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

Pulmonologists suggest food rich in antioxidants and multivitamins like C and D to counter the high pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR

(Photo : Unsplash)

With air quality deteriorating each passing day in Delhi-NCR, healthcare professionals suggest a few nutritional and lifestyle tips to help keep lungs safe.

According to a study by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) recently, Delhi ranked as the most polluted city in India in January 2024, with Bhagalpur following closely behind. The national capital recorded a monthly average PM2.5 concentration of 206 µg/m³, surpassing the daily NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards) each day of the month, reads the study.

Patriot spoke to health experts to understand how to stay safe in these challenging times.

Dr Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant at the Department of Respiratory, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi, said winter is a challenging period as far as air pollution is concerned.

 “Since winters are full of polluted air and harmful substances like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide, it gets tough for patients with respiratory ailments to breathe well,” he said.

He added that exposure to such air can cause an increase in breathlessness, cough, fever or a drop in oxygen saturation.

“To avoid this, one needs to take medicine regularly and food rich in antioxidants like vegetable soup, green vegetables, and amla, besides items containing multivitamins C and D. One should also stay hydrated,” he said.

Dr Puneet Gupta, Head — Pulmonology, Intervention Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Yatharth Hospital, Noida, said one can also try home remedies to protect their lungs.

“One can gargle, take steam and drink green tea as well. Seasonal fruits and salads are essential as they work as antioxidants,” he said.

Dr Gupta said those with pre-existing respiratory disorders need to be more careful.

“They should use masks and stop venturing out unnecessarily during morning and evening when pollution levels are very high. They should also get vaccinated if they don’t have any other complications like diabetes. Vulnerable people can also use air fresheners to stay away from dust in their homes,” he said.

Dr Gupta also said that one should go for regular yoga and deep breathing exercises to help the lungs function well.

“One should also avoid oily and junk food,” he added.