Millennium Post

'Air pollution linked to mental health'

Air pollution linked to mental health

New Delhi: Air pollution has created a hazardous condition and has placed people's health in an unsafe territory, with Air Quality Index reeling between severe and very poor category. With such adverse health affects, doctors have revealed that air pollution also have psychiatric affect on people.

Speaking to Millennium Post, Dr. Vikas Goswami, Sr. Consultant Medical Oncologist from Max Hospital Vaishali said, "The particles that enter our body due to air pollution, cause an inflammation, wherever these particles will touch, there will be an inflammatory reaction. Air pollution also affects the mood, people are having irritation, depression and agressiveness due to it."

Recent studies have now found a link between mental health and air pollution. According to reports, there is greater risk of seasonal affective disorders, especially depression, when the whether is smoggy with limited sunshine. There is higher risk of anxiety disorders and panic attacks with high levels of pollution in the air. This especially effects children and the elderly.

According to a study conducted by the University of Washington there is a strong connection between psychological distress and pollution. Post Diwali, things became difficult with Dr Goswami revealing, "Several cases of Chemical Pneumonitis were reported in our hospital after Diwali. Majorly, two forms of chemical pneumonitis i.e. acute and chronic. In acute form, people suffer from cough, face breathing issues, abnormal lung sounds (wet, gurgling sounding breaths), chest pain, tightness or burning. In chronic, there is persistent cough, shortness of breath and increased susceptibility to respiratory illness."

Dr. Goswami said that the condition of air pollution is serious and advised people to avoid exposure from outside environment. "One can also use air purifiers, plant more trees in their homes and drink lots of water," he added.

On the other hand, air pollutants create issues for our skin that cause free radical production in the skin. Dermatologist Nivedita Dadu, Founder and Chairman at Dr Nivedita Dadu's Dermatology clinic suggests to stock up on C,

"Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help us fight the devastating effects of pollution. It can rid our bodies of free radicals that cause our cells to age more rapidly. It can also help us breathe easier."

Nikita Jain

Nikita Jain

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