SMOG Ruins Your Health, Here’s How You Can Stay Safe

Healthy Lifestyle
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It’s that time of the year again. Lahore is yet again facing the nasty and hazy smog. The thick pollutant smog covers the skies of Lahore resulting in an obstructed view whenever you drive or walk on the road. It one way or another disrupts the life and terribly halts the quality of life as citizens. We start seeing a rise in ailments because of this smog and people getting exposed to chronic infections.

Lahore which is Pakistan’s second largest city and home to more than 10 million people, experiences sudden high levels of pollution and poor air quality every year. The air pollutants which are a combination of urban air pollution and calm wind penetrate in the atmosphere and destroy the air quality. Lahore has recently been listed amongst the top 10 worst cities for smog.

Here’s a detailed account on smog, its crisis in Pakistan, how it ruins your health and what you should do to stay safe.

Smog Crisis in Pakistan:

Pakistan stands third in the list of countries which have a large number of pollution-related deaths. As per statistics,

  • Around 135,000 Pakistanis die every year all due to smog or air pollution.
  • The country also loses 5.88 percent of its GDP to the smog annually, which is $47.8 billion. Poor air quality causes severe health issues including lung and heart diseases and respiratory failures.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 60,000 deaths in Pakistan caused by the weeks of smog in November. Studies have found that smog reduces life expectancy by 60 months and leads to almost 135,000 deaths every year, making it the leading cause of sickness in the country. Even, air quality in Pakistan exceeds safe limits in all major cities, with Lahore 9x worse than national guidelines.

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What Is Smog?

As the name suggests, smog is putting together with the words ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’. Its a harmful mixture of fog, dust and air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, etc. These combine with sunlight to form a dense layer of ground-level ozone. Ozone if present high in the atmosphere is good, but when nearer to the ground, it can cause devastating health effects.

How Smog Affects Your Health:

Smog leads to a variety of health problems. Those who get affected the most are children, infants, the elderly, those with cardiac and respiratory problems like asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, etc., those who stay outdoors for long periods of time, and people with unusual susceptibility to ozone. It reduces life expectancy by 60 months and leads to almost 135,000 deaths every year in Pakistan, making it one of the leading cause of sickness and death in the country.

Smog can also cause minor issues like eye and throat irritation, headaches, etc. However an exposure for a longer period of time, smog can have a much worse effect on your body. As a counter to any of the health hazards caused by smog can book an appointment with the best pulmonologist in Lahore or any other city of Pakistan via marham.pk and get proper treatment.

Here’s a look at how smog ruins your health:

  • Inhalation of smog over a long span of time can inflame your breathing passages, just like cigarette smoking.
  • It causes inflamed lungs, and inflamed lungs secrete interleukin-6 which causes blood clots in people cardiac and respiratory disorders, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
  • Smog decreases your lungs’ working capacity, which leads to shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, coughing, discomfort in deep-breathing.
  • It dries out the protective membranes of your nose and throat.
  • It can jeopardize your body’s ability to resist infection, hence, increasing your susceptibility to illness e.g, it can lead to asthma attacks if you are already a patient.
  • Production of important elements like Vitamin D gets greatly reduced because of smog.
  • Smog can also cause lung cancer.
  • Leads to major accidents due to the low-visibility it causes on road

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How Can You Protect Yourself From Smog:

The best way to protect yourself from smog is to avoid it by staying indoors. However, since you have to face in inevitably, here’s what you can do to protect yourself from smog

  • Use face masks with pollutant filters
  • Keep yourself hydrated with waters and juices to cleanse harmful pollutants from your system.
  • Get air purifiers and use them
  • Avoid being in congested areas
  • Avoid exercising outdoors
  • Drive slow and be extra careful when experiencing smog.
  • Keep asthma pumps and oxygen tanks always with if you are a patient of such respiratory disorders.

Smog has now become a ritual for every winter season in Pakistan and conclusive measures must be taken for the safety and protection of citizens. However, it is necessary that we are aware of how dangerous this smog is and what we need to do about it. It’s important that we know how to protect ourselves and the situation must be fought out by the authorities. In such conditions, Marham has made access to pulmonologists very easy for you. You can book an appointment with the best pulmonologist in Karachi or any other city of Pakistan via marham.pk.

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Fahad Salman
He is a young student understanding life and its gifts in every moment. An activist by heart, he pursues to push things forward by his honest written expressions. He writes content for Pakistan’s most trusted patient's network – MARHAM to lighten up lives by writing on burning health issues. He wants to be remembered as an infinite learner and a real contributor.