Here’s how you can take care of your lungs this Diwali

Dr Prashant Chhajed, Chest Physician and HOD-Pulmonology, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, shares how the pollution created by the crackers can affect one's health and how to prevent it

fireworks

The Supreme Court of India has permitted the use of ‘green’ firecrackers for festivals, over the toxic ones, especially during Diwali. This decision comes in light of rising concerns over the depleting air quality; SC has fixed a timeslot from 8-10 p.m. for bursting fireworks.

While some people are concerned that the order may hamper festivities, one must realise that firecrackers can harm the Lungs and respiratory passages. Asthma patients are the worst hit during Diwali, as in winter, the polluted air is trapped in the atmosphere, packing it with hazardous toxins.

The metals, used in crackers, and the smoke which is released, can have drastic outcomes affecting the elderly and children. It leads to weak lungs, causes a weaker immune system and further may lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Firecrackers can cause high levels of pollution in a short time.

Here are a few risks associated with the environmental pollution contributed by fireworks:

  • Increase in asthma and bronchitis attacks caused due to inhalation of polluted air
  • Symptoms, such as burning sensation in the eyes, runny nose, throat irritation, cough, wheezing, and breathlessness.
  • Increase in cardiovascular and stroke risks.

Every person must make efforts to celebrate safe and healthy Diwali, here are some ways you can opt:

  • The ideal way to enjoy the festive spirit is to avoid using firecrackers.
  • It is advisable for expecting mothers, infants, elders, and those with chronic illnesses like asthma, heart disease, to stay indoors.
  • Keep the windows closed, especially, during peak hours of fireworks
  • It is imperative for asthma patients to use their prescribed medication regularly and to keep inhalers handy at all times.
  • Consult a doctor, in case you sense uneasiness in the chest.
  • It is also advisable to skip outdoor exercises, whenever the pollution levels are high and prefer indoor exercising regimes.
  • Consume a well-balanced, healthy and nutritious diet to boost immunity.

By following safe methods and ensuring your health is not vulnerable to the various environmental hazards, one may enjoy in the festivities along with friends and family. Be sure to monitor the wellbeing of young and older individuals while the celebrations continue.