Air pollution effects on health – High pollution levels can affect the health of an individual in various ways. Not just lungs inhaling polluted air for long can affect any other essential organs. Exposure to polluted air can also negatively affect the heart health of an individual. Air pollution can trigger the risk of heart diseases. It is harmful to an individual’s heart health as well as for those already suffering from heart disease. The heart is one of the essential organs for the heart. You need to control various factors that can negatively affect heart health. Read on to understand how air pollution can affect heart health explained by an expert.
The harmful effect of air pollution on heart health
90 % of people breathe polluted air worldwide, particularly in low resource settings. Air pollution is a complex mixture of particulate matters and gaseous components. Air pollution is the most important environmental risk factor contributing to global cardiovascular mortality and disability. Short term exposures to these fine particulate matters are shown to increase the risk of acute cardiac events like heart attack by 1 to 3 % within a few days.
How to preserve heart health from pollution?
To control the risk of heart diseases and other health hazards associated with increased air pollution there is an urgent need to take prevention steps. Simple modifications can help you safeguard yourself and your family from poor air quality.
4 different measures to fight pollution and preserve heart health
- 1. Important measures to avert these risks include wearing face masks and installing indoor air purifiers at homes
- 2. Using clean-burning fuels, stoves, and furnaces
- 3. Avoiding commutes during rush hours
- 4. Exercise particularly in non-crowded and non-polluted areas or try indoor exercising; maintain a healthy diet
Natural ways to fight high air pollution effects on health
Some home remedies can help you deal with pollution levels easily. Some home remedies which might work may include-
Boost immunity to naturally fight the harmful effects of pollutants. You can make dietary changes to boost immunity and add foods rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, omega-3, and vitamin E to your diet. You can also jaggery to your diet. It is one of the most popular remedies for pollution. Keep air purifying plants inside your house.
Ayurvedic methods to fight high pollution
Two things that we can do to manage the impact of these pollutants- one is to improve immunity and secondly, improving the quality of air at home.
1. How to improve immunity?
To strengthen immunity, you need a diet rich with antioxidants to protect the body from the effects of the pollutants. Right food is an important input to adequately handle the impact of pollution on our health since there is little that can be done to reverse the problem externally. A diet for better immunity must include-
a) Vitamin C: amla, guava, lemon, berries, tomato, carrots, kiwi and apples
b) Vitamin E: It is found in almonds, basil or cloves
c) Beta carotene: Sources of beta carotene are coriander, fenugreek, lettuce, and spinach
d) Omega 3: It can be found in walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and clarified butter or ghee
2. Home remedies
a) Turmeric and honey
Take a one-fourth tablespoon of turmeric and mix it with half a tablespoon of honey. Have this before going to bed. This combination is a time tested solution for building strength and immunity.
b) Ginger, basil, and honey
Half a tablespoon of juice extracts of basil leaves mixed with honey and 5 drops of ginger juice can be had on an empty stomach in the morning.
It is one of the most effective remedies for pollution. Jaggery has anti-inflammatory properties and it can be included in the diet in various ways.
d) Neem leaves
Neem, with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, builds immunity while cooling down the body. It detoxifies and removes the impurities from the blood.
e) Ghee or clarified butter
It is good for digestion and has detoxifying properties. The presence of omega 3 fatty acids in Ghee supports your immune system. It is also anti-inflammatory and a rich source of antioxidant which makes it a must-have. It promotes an alkaline environment in the body, when your diet, especially in India happens to be more acidic overall. The alkaline environment makes it difficult for diseases and illnesses to manifest in the body.
3. To purify the air
Research shows that some house plants can take in toxins from the air and purify the air including bamboo, Erica palm, peace lily, and money plants. Other methods may include the use of beeswax candles, salt lamps or essential oils including rosemary, thyme, oregano, tea tree, lemongrass, and cinnamon.
Air pollution and eye health
Constant exposure to smog might be the reason why your eyes burn and feel itchy. You may also be experiencing sore eyes, watery eyes, dry eyes, redness in eyes and blurry vision. Well, the first step towards preventing these symptoms is avoiding going out too often. Apart from this, follow these steps for some relief:
5 Quick and effective remedies to protect eyes from air pollution
1. Reduce your screen time: Air pollution isn’t entirely responsible for these symptoms in eyes. Apart from 8 to 10 hours at work that you are constantly glued to your screen, if you are spending considerable time on your phone, then it is way more than recommended screen time for your eyes. Give your eyes a rest from screen time to reduce these symptoms. Reducing your screen time can reduce redness and burning sensation in the eyes.
2. Sprinkle tap water on your eyes: This is an age-old remedy to get relief from burning sensation in eyes. If your eyes get reddish and burn after spending some time outside, sprinkle some tap water on them. This can be done several times during the day to reduce eye allergies caused by smog and air pollution.
3. Stay hydrated: As far as your water intake is optimum, the way your body responds to air pollution is going to be better. Drinking sufficient water helps in washing away toxins from the body and supports tear formation. This offers relief from dry eyes. Water intake can also help in removing irritants beneath your eyelids.
4. Consume a healthy diet: Drinking warm fluids during high pollution levels can help in clearing out nasal passages and reduce congestion. Apart from these, consume foods rich in Vitamin A to improve eye health and reduce risks associated with high air pollution. Carrots, eggs, orange and yellow vegetables, and fruits and leafy green veggies re rich sources of Vitamin A that can be beneficial for your eyes.
5. Avoid using eye makeup: A simple solution to avoid irritation in eyes because of smog and air pollution is by avoiding makeup. Stay away from Kala, eyeliner, eye shadows and maskara. Get back to your specks and avoid contact lenses as well. Besides, it is also recommended to maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands, face, and feet after coming home. Use eye drops to reduce irritation in the eyes.
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