The infamous smog has returned to plague Lahore and various regions of Punjab, causing various health problems and reduced visibility on roads.
Health issues caused by smog include eye infections, allergies, coughing, chest infection, pain when breathing, and shortness of breath. When the concentration of smog increases, so do the number of emergency room visits. It can even cause premature deaths in some cases.
Who is At Risk?
Smog affects each and every one of us differently, it is especially harmful to:
Children: Children’s lungs are still developing and have smaller airways. Children breathe more rapidly than adults and also tend to spend more time outside playing which exposes them to smog.
People with existing respiratory conditions: People who already suffer from various respiratory conditions like asthma, and allergies are at a greater risk of becoming ill. These people have poor lung function and capacity. Micro particles in the air can cause inflammation in their lungs and aggravate their illness.
Seniors: Seniors are at a higher risk of becoming ill due to particles found in the air due to smog. They already have weaker lungs, heart and immune system so they are unable to hold up against it without medication and doctor care. Smog is particularly dangerous for older people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases and respiratory conditions.
Signs That Smog is Affecting You:
- Breathing difficulties, including shortness of breath
- Increased mucus production in the nose and throat
- Chest tightness
- Throat irritation
- Eye irritation
- Low energy
Precautions Against Smog
- Be Aware: Listen to smog forecasts and consider modifying daily activities accordingly.
- Limit Your Exposure: Limit your outdoor exposure to a minimum. A person can become ill due to long exposure to smog while performing strenuous activity.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water to stay hydrated. People who exercise should drink more water as they sweat more.
- Drive Less: Carpool, walk or use public transport. Try avoiding to drive during low visibility. If you have to drive during low visibility then turn on your fog lights, drive slow, be vigilant, and use double indicators when necessary.
- Protect Those at Higher Risk: Pay special attention to people with cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases as they are at a higher risk of suffering from smog, including senior citizens and children.
- Wear a medical face mask: Use of face mask should be a must while going outdoors to avoid directly inhaling harmful particles present in the air due to smog.
- Wear Sunglasses: Sunglasses can help protect eyes against the harmful particles in the air and should be used whenever outdoors during smog.
- Use Medication: Eye drops can help reduce eye irritation and heal any issues caused by the smog.
- Buy Air Purifiers: Air Purifiers are now available in Pakistan. You should buy those and use them to clean the air indoors.