We find that the respiratory load increases three-fold in winter mainly because of the rise in pollutants and temperature inversion. The cold air acts as a cap, preventing warm air from coming in, and the vehicular pollutants and pollen from rising and this leads to an increase in respiratory ailments. Pollution irritates an individual's airway, which is bad not just for those suffering from respiratory ailments, but also normal people. Those with a history of respiratory ailments see their symptoms flare up and others may develop infections, which may take a really long time to settle.
On any given day this season we see some 50 to 55 patients suffering from weather related ailments, including asthma. In summers we see only 30 such cases per day.
What people need to keep in mind is that pollutants tend to increase during winter due to the increased use of firewood, which adds to the vehicular pollution.
With the rapid urbanisation and concretisation of the city, this season attracts not just winter related ailments but also those caused by pollution. So it becomes extremely important to monitor pollution levels and keep the people informed. If they are aware of the problem they can then take the necessary precautions.