Bengaluru: If you have been suffering from persistent cough, it could be a sign of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Yes, COPD is no longer limited to those addicted to tobacco or smoking, the city’s worsening air quality has made the disease much more prevalent.
Doctors claim that Bengaluru is now witnessing a rise in a number of COPD cases due to bad air quality.
“In India, air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, is now the third-highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking. This is a combined effect of outdoor PM2.5, ozone, and household air pollution. Due to this combined exposure, South Asians including Indians are dying early, their life expectancy has been reduced by over 2.6 years,” said Dr Ravindra Mehta, Chief of Pulmonology and Critical Care, Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar.
He also pointed out that long-term exposure to second hand smoke and other lung irritants such as air pollution, chemical fumes and dusts from the environment or household can put anyone at risk.
COPD is an underdiagnosed and undertreated disorder. Some of the common symptoms include chronic cough, frequent cold, breathing problem, flu, and other respiratory infections.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), COPD was the fourth-biggest global cause of death in 2015, behind ischaemic heart disease (9 million) and stroke (6 million).
Dr Satyanarayana Mysore, HOD Sleep Medicine & Interventional Pulmonologist, Manipal Hospitals, said that Indoor air pollution is as dangerous as outdoor air pollution.
“Biomass fuel significantly adds onto air quality levels and in our country significantly contributes to both the incidence and prevalence of airway diseases. Old buildings emit radon which significantly affects air quality. Pollution leads to oxidative injury, the release of metalolprotenases and these lead to lung injury. Let's campaign to end biomass fuels,” he said.
Experts strongly recommend periodic screening for the elderly patients to facilitate early detection of respiratory disease....