Expert Talk: Impact Of Air Pollution On Lungs

The environment has great impact on people living with a lung disease. Read ahead to know the impact of air pollution on lungs and how to tackle it.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaUpdated at: Oct 02, 2022 16:43 IST
Expert Talk: Impact Of Air Pollution On Lungs

Air pollution and ambient exposure to nitrogen oxides, and/or SO2 emitted from vehicle exponentially increase the risk of lung cancer. Even short-term episodes of air pollution in children can heighten their risk of developing respiratory infection and it's severe symptoms.

In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Director & Unit Head Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad explains that these symptoms include non-allergic rhinitis and nasal mucosal erythema, sinusitis, nasal itching, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, dry mouth and throat, productive cough and dry cough, wheezing and dyspnoea.

Impact Of Air Pollution On Lungs

The environment has great impact on people living with a lung disease. It is well known that higher levels of air pollution can lead to severe symptoms, worse lung function and more hospitalisations in patients with airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.

  1. Non-allergic rhinitis (irritant) and nasal mucosal congestion, sinusitis, nasal itching, runny nose, nasal stuffiness, recurrent sneezing, dry mouth and throat, productive cough and dry cough, wheezing and breathlessness.
  2. Particulate matter that penetrate the lung epithelium lining can initiate lung inflammation leading to COPD and Asthma.
  3. Increased pollution exposure to the pregnant ladies can lead to preterm delivery, low birth weight and asthma.
  4. Children living in polluted atmosphere can develop premature asthma, lung irritation and early COPD. 
  5. Elderly people develop reduced lung capacity, COPD and are at high risk of developing lung cancer
  6. People with preexisting lung condition develop more frequent asthma and COPD attacks.
Impact Of Air Pollution On Lungs

How To Tackle Air Pollution?

Thousands of people die every year because of air pollution. The air we breathe in each day has many toxic and dangerous pollutants. Therefore, everyone should be responsible to reduce air pollution for the good of themselves, others, and also the environment . Here are right ways how to reduce air pollution.

  1. Increase the use of public transport
  2. Buy energy efficient vehicles such as electrical 
  3. Consider “Going Green”
  4. Avoid plastic bags
  5. Make good use of Solar Energy
  6. Always Use Recyclable Products
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Educate Your Companions
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