According to IQAir, Lahore is ranked on top of the world’s list of most polluted cities. You might have observed that every November, the city of Lahore gets covered in a blanket of smog. Flights are canceled, respiratory issues arise, and mortality rates increase. This has been going on since 2017, but the government has made little to no effort to resolve the issue of smog. However, this year Punjab government has decided on 3-day off coping strategy the air quality index rises.
Punjab Government Notice
On November 22, 2021, the Punjab government published a notice to address the issue of smog. It stated that: “All private offices, private sector entities, and other individuals within the territorial limits of the Lahore Metropolitan Corporation must remain closed on Mondays, in addition to Saturdays and Sundays, beginning November 27, 2021, and ending January 15, 2022. Their employees, on the other hand, may work from home.”
Moreover, it also states that all public and private educational institutions within the city of Lahore will be closed on Mondays, in addition to weekly holidays observed on Saturdays and Sundays. They may, however, set up virtual classes.
Image Source: Punjab Government
Smog and Health issues in Lahore
The word smog was used for the first time in the 21st century. It is formed by combining the words fog and smoke due to the visibility issues that it can cause. But, it doesn’t just affect your visibility and can take a toll on your respiratory health as well. Let’s look at some of the harmful effects of smog on your health:
1. Eye Issues
The harmful pollutants in smog can irritate your eyes. After spending time outside in smog, people have observed that their eyes become watery. Moreover, those who have sensitive eyes get tears immediately after stepping outside. Smog is also known to cause redness and itchiness in your eyes.
2. Throat and Lung Infections
There are several air pollutants and microbes in smog that can lead to throat and lung infections. Long-term exposure to smog can give these pollutants extra time to take home inside your body. This can lead to persistent or constant cough and severe respiratory issues.
3. Worsening Other Conditions
People who already have chronic conditions like asthma, heart, and lung diseases are the most at risk because of smog. Patients with respiratory issues can easily contract viruses and bacterial infections that may cause breathing issues and further damage the lungs.
4. Increase in Mortality Rate
As if corona and dengue are not causing enough deaths, smog is also contributing to this death rate. The main targets are people who are already in hospitals with lung conditions and some that haven’t been diagnosed.
Image Source: Sparetheair.com
How to Protect Yourself from Smog?
While the preventive measures taken by the Punjab government will hopefully reduce your risk of becoming sick because of smog. It would be best if we also took precautions on an individual level. Some of the best ways to avoid getting throat or lung infections are:
- Limit Exposure: The first thing must be to stop any outdoor activities like going to the park. If you have to go out for work, make sure that you are wearing a protective mask.
- Keep windows close: Keep your windows closed, whether in your car, business, or house.
- Stop Smoking: People who smoke are at high risk of developing lung issues due to smog. So, it is best to limit your usage of tobacco or any other harmful drugs.
- Have a Healthy Diet: Food can be a powerful weapon against viral and bacterial infections. Make sure that you are taking adequate amounts of nutrients and vitamins from your diet. Some vitamins and minerals that improve immunity are Vitamin C, D, E, and Zinc.
- Be a Responsible citizen: Avoid lighting fires, spreading litter, and make sure to change your vehicle’s oil regularly. All these can prevent pollutants from harming the ozone layer and reducing smog.
- Use an Air Purifier: Heart and lung patients should install air purifiers in their homes and cars to remove air pollutants from their surroundings. People who have sensitive skin or asthma are also recommended to do so by health experts.
- Have regular health checkups: It is essential to visit a doctor, especially if you have preexisting health conditions or diseases. You must start your treatment early to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Facing the issues of smog alongside COVID-19 and the dengue virus, the city of Lahore is facing a major health crisis. People with respiratory problems like asthma are the most at risk due to the rising levels of pollutants in the air. The Punjab Government has finally taken action and published a coping strategy for smog. All private offices and entities along with both public and private educational institutes shall remain closed on Monday along with Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, this preventive measure taken by the government will give positive results if it is implemented.
Consult a Lung Specialist
A Lung specialist can treat all issues caused by smog including cough, asthma, and other lung diseases. You can book an appointment with the top Lung Doctors in Pakistan through Marham by calling Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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1. How polluted is Lahore’s air?
Lahore has an air quality index of more than 200 and is considered one of the most polluted cities right now.
2. What is smog made of?
Smog is a mixture of fog and smoke.
3. Is smog harmful to humans?
Yes, smog can be highly harmful to our lungs and heart. It can cause infections and lung diseases.