NEW DELHI: With the city air turning bad to worse, those not diagnosed with asthma but prone to it are at high risk of catching chronic breathing problems, experts warned on Friday.
According to Vijay Hadda from AIIMS’ Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, patients battling borderline asthma may be diagnosed with the disease permanently if the severe air quality persists.
“The persistent decline in air quality has brought about a change in our daily routine. Many are already feeling the effects of it — insufficient sleep, stiffness, itchiness in throat and eyes, accompanied by sneezing, headache and a bitter taste in the mouth. These are all initial symptoms of what may turn into serious breathing problems,” Hadda said.
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In peak pollution days, the worst sufferers are those who have been diagnosed with chronic asthma, COPD and bronchitis, medical experts said. “Before Diwali, patients with such ailments, who came for routine check-ups, were fine. However now, those problems have grown severe,” Hadda said.
He said such patients may need nebulisers, extra oxygen supply or even ventilation in the event of an emergency.
Bobby Bhalotra, from the Pulmonary Medicine department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said, “Wearing masks is a must and it is also better to avoid outdoor activities in the morning. Those already diagnosed with asthma or COPD are advised to continue with their regular medication and use inhalers,” Bhalotra said.
Grap measures extended
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal on Friday ordered extension of measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). He said the measures will be in place till November 5.