Pollution can be the new reason of COPD diseases
In the wake of urbanisation and modernisation, although we are making our lives comfortable, our health is being affected the most The air that we breathe is laden with a layer of poisonous pollutants and gases to an extent that it is posing risk to our lungs and is causing serious damage to the respiratory tracts
New Delhi: In the wake of urbanisation and modernisation, although we are making our lives comfortable, our health is being affected the most. The air that we breathe is laden with a layer of poisonous pollutants and gases to an extent that it is posing risk to our lungs and is causing serious damage to the respiratory tracts.
The result is rise in the cases of asthma and progression in respiratory ailments like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Various studies have suggested that the situation of air we inhale is as bad as smoking some 40 cigarettes in a day. In fact, it is predicted to be the third most common cause of death and fifth most common cause of disability globally by 2020.
If we go by WHO estimates, approximately 80 million people are battling moderate to severe COPD these days. said Dr. Rakesh Chawla, Senior Consultant, Respiratory Medicine, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi.
About 50 percent of COPD cases go undiagnosed during physical examination. The symptoms don't appear until significant lung damage has already occurred which only worsens over time.
For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is persistent cough along with mucus (sputum) production for at least three months. However, other symptoms may include shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in chest, frequent respiratory infections, swelling in ankles, legs, etc.
According to Dr. Rakesh, earlier the problem was prevalent among elderly, smokers or was confined to rural areas, But, now due to various kinds of pollutants, soot and carbon particles in the air, which is aided by changing weather, smog, etc. is affecting the people in the urban cities as well.
COPD primarily destroys lungs but along with causing breathing problems and lung infections, it can even lead to various heart problems and can cause a stroke.
In fact, it has become a multi organ disease where all organs, including our bones get affected.
On World COPD Day, It is important to spread the message to raise awareness among the public about COPD disease and how to protect oneself from it, especially during this season when air pollution has peaked.