Air Pollution Crisis: Docs Explain What’s Happening to Your Body
How does pollution harm your lungs, livers, brain and more? FIT speaks to leading doctors to break it down.
If you live anywhere in India at this moment, then you know there’s only one topic of conversation - pollution and what we can do about it.
FIT speaks to doctors in various specialties - from lung specialists to gastroenterologists to psychologists - to decode exactly what happens to the organs in our bodies in this pathetic, toxic air.
We know that respiratory ailments are exacerbated and incidences of asthma and even lung cancer are becoming increasingly common in younger and even non-smoking patients.
But Dr Ashok Seth, one of India’s leading cardiologists, explains that the air pollution is so bad, it can even cause heart failure over a sustained period of breathing in.
We also speak to Dr Kamna Chibber, clinical psychologist and head, mental health and behavioral sciences at Fortis who says that breathing in this hazardous air can also damage our mental health. Toxic air can cause mental stress, increased irritability and even chances of depression.
Dr Ashwini Setya, senior gastroenterologist at Max Hospitals says that the severe air pollution has potential indirect effects on changing the good gut microbacteria which can cause IBS and Crohn’s disease.
Dr Arvind Soin, president of the Liver Transplantation Society of India mentions that liver cirrhosis and even liver cancr have been linked to air pollution.
Dr Manjari Tripathi is a renowned neurologist at AIIMS, Delhi. She explains the ways in which air pollution affects the brain — causing stroke, seizures, autism-spectrum disorders, cognitive and learning disabilities, and even brain cancer.
Dirty air is choking us and destroying our insides, targeting our every organ. What can we do about it? For now, stay indoors and stay away from dust and pollutants around us - but to make sure this doesn't happen again we need more sustainable, long-term solutions on both a micro and a macro level.
(Delhi is in a public health emergency and schools have been shut. The air outside is visibly toxic - how has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at FIT@thequint.com.)
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