‘Adrak wali tea’ and ‘hot coffees’ are currently our best friends. And trust us; it’s not only for you! The winter is all out and in full swing, bringing along with it some unpredictable weather and respiratory problems.
During winters, the body temperature usually drops as the environment cools. At the same time, the body is adjusting to the new climate. As a result of these changes, our body experiences a number of diseases. While some people are more susceptible to catching diseases, doctors in Mumbai say there are a variety of ailments on the rise.
“At the moment, we are seeing a lot of people with viral infections. Since the past five days, I have been seeing multiple cases with viral infection, but what I have seen is severe cough. Cold clubbed with severe cough is on the rise. Those patients with a history of respiratory illness are getting major bouts of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). I recommend people to get flu shots,” said Dr Prashant Chhajed, a leading pulmonologist from Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai.
Dr Chhajed further explained that there is a lot of pollution which worsens the air quality. There is a clear cut increase in certain respiratory infections in the city due to such weather. Asthma, chest infection, bronchitis or COPD could be some of them.
“We are seeing a 20 to 30 per cent rise in the number of non-smoking patients with COPD. Air pollution is a major factor linked to non-smoking COPD. In metro cities outdoor pollution is a major cause linked to the rise in non-smoking COPD,” added Dr Chhajed.
A lot of these infections and flu could be avoided by eating right.
Dr Aditya Agarwal, a Chest Specialist at Bhatia Hospital lists out some preventive measures:
- Wear warm clothes.
- Avoid going out in windy conditions.
- Stay indoors,
- Go out only if it is absolutely necessary.
- Try using the air conditioners in the car with controlled temperature.
- Drink plenty of warm fluids and orange juice.
- Eat coloured vegetables.
It is important to build up a good immunity system said experts. Pooja Udeshi, Sports nutritionist and certified diabetes educator and practicing at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital said:
- Food rich in vitamin C like amla, oranges, sweet lime and lemon should be consumed to prevent respiratory tract infections.
- Drink tulsi and ginger tea as it prevents cold and fever and boosts the immunity.
- Incorporate sesame seeds, mustard, asafoetida, black pepper and fenugreek, which aid digestion.
- Eat nuts like almonds and walnuts and dry fruits like raisins, apricots, prunes and figs. Avoid fried food and junk food.
With a sudden dip in the temperature, what kind of diseases are on a rise now? Dr Samir Garde, Pulmonologist, Global Hospitals, Mumbai helps identify condition people are prone to in such weather conditions
- Exacerbation of Asthma and COPD: Increased breathlessness / sputum production in people who have asthma or Chronic Obstructive ventilator defect (COPD: smoking related lung disease which causes permanent debility of lungs and breathlessness) Exacerbation in simple words can be called as LUNG ATTACK. At times even hospitalization may be required
- Viral upper respiratory infections: Sore throat ; high grade fever; greenish yellow sputum production Severe body ache It can affect normal individuals as well as people with underlying respiratory conditions
- Pneumonia (Infection of Lung): Can vary from a minor fever/cough, requiring antibiotics on outpatient basis ; to severe pneumonias requiring hospitalisation with intravenous antibiotics and at times even ventilator support