The rains have arrived and so is the number of diseases along with it. People are aware of the most common ailments such as viral fever, the common cold, malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea, etc. But very few are aware of the respiratory ailments that stems from indoor air pollution in monsoon caused by the dampness in the walls, fungus from air conditioners, floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, sofa covers, wooden furniture harboring fungus, etc. Recently hospitals and local physicians in the city have noticed a spike in the number of cases with respiratory problems.
Speaking on the rise of respiratory problems in monsoon, Dr Salil Bendre, MD, Chest Head Pulmonary Medicine, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai, said, “Taking adequate precautions are one of the best ways to avoid monsoon-related ailments. All age groups are affected because of air pollution; however, there is a definite rise in asthma and lung infections among children.”
“Also, elderly and diabetics are at a risk of lung infection because of air pollution. Avoiding floor carpets, velvet upholsteries, stuffed toys, burning incense sticks at home and regular cleaning of air conditioner filters are some of the precautions that can be taken to avoid indoor air pollution during the monsoon,” he said.
Dr PM. Bhujang, President of Association of Hospital further added, “One can choose the water you drink, but you can’t do much about the air you breathe. Today, people are aware of how the metropolitan cities are highly affected with outdoor pollution and the ill-effects of inhaling this polluted air. But when it comes to climatic conditions such as monsoon, indoor pollution becomes a serious matter of concern. Indoor air quality (IAQ) in closed environment like workplace, rooms etc. is the subject of much attention these days.”
“The quality of indoor air can profoundly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants and can put them in risk of respiratory problems. Some of the most common health-related complaints associated with poor indoor air quality are flu or a cold, headaches, sinus problems, chest congestion, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. We must take appropriate action to prevent these ill effects,” he stated
Suspended Particulate Matter is the main trigger of damage in air pollution. Other contents like SO2, ammonia, carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons add to the toxicity. Air pollutants which are less than 10 microns in size enter the smaller airways and causes damage. This may trigger cough, breathing difficulty, choking, chest tightness and asthma.
Dr Jalil Parker, chest physician at Lilavati hospital said, “Our outdoor patient unit is flooded with complaints of running nose, high fever, upper respiratory infection. Simple steps like hand hygeince, covering mouth while sneezing or coughing goes a long way to bring the growing number of people.”