Young Adults Are More Concerned About Respiratory Health Issues As Air Quality Dips According to a report around 79 per cent of all the respiratory health queries were from men

By Debarghya Sil

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It is that time of the year again when it is difficult to differentiate between fog and smoke. As the winters slowly wrap the typical tropical country, the pollution level in the air shoots up mostly due to stubble burning and construction sites. Already air quality in most of the bigger cities has touched the severe-plus mark, distressing people with respiratory issues.

According to a recent report by a healthcare company Practo, there has been a rise of around 20 per cent in respiratory related queries from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The report noted that after the statement from the central government suggesting that high pollution level could make people more prone to catch the COVID-19 infection, people are consulting with the doctors more. The company said most of the queries were related to breathing issues, dust allergy, asthma, respiratory problems, dry cough and others. People within the age group from 21-30 inquired the most at 34 per cent followed by people aged 60 and above at 28 per cent.

The report highlighted that around 79 per cent of all the respiratory health queries were from men.

According to the company, the most searched health issues were breathing problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and dust allergy treatments.

Of the metro cities, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune reported the highest number of queries, whereas of the non-metro cities, queries came the highest from Visakhapatnam, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kanpur and Indore.

Commenting on the trend, Dr Rajesh Bhardwaj, an ENT specialist who consults on Practo, said, "Dip in the overall air quality index has been a cause of concern for a few years now. Especially this time when we move from the monsoon to winter, the air we breathe begins to get polluted. This happens due to various factors—since cold air is more dense particles remain suspended in it for a long period and remain on the surface. This is also aggravated by low winds, farm stubble burning, construction activity, and cracker bursting around Diwali time. Indoor air is as polluted, sometimes more so than outside air; this is because toxic particles can remain trapped inside in closed spaces. Poor quality air is a great threat to us as it directly impacts our health, especially among the vulnerable category of people like elders, children and pregnant women. Allergy, respiratory problems, cardiac problems are all triggered by pollution and become fatal. Hence, it is important to consult doctors even if there is a slight feeling of discomfort during this time. Telemedicine is a great way of seeking medical help without exposing oneself to pollution."

Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, chief healthcare strategy officer at Practo, said people across the country can use Practo's telemedicine service to get in touch with qualified doctor instead of self-medicating or ignoring the symptoms.

Debarghya Sil

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Correspondent

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