With pollution levels unavoidably increasing with each passing day, ailments related to lungs and breathing are also at an all-time high. Asthma is one of the leading cases among air-pollution related conditions. The prevalence of asthma is increasing in India due to worsening environmental conditions and increasing allergens. Sadly, it is the children who are largely affected by the ever-increasing environmental risk factors.

Signs and symptoms of asthma occur may depend on how severe, or intense, the asthma is, and whether you are exposed to allergens. 30 million people in India suffer from asthma, which is 10% of the world’s asthma patients. Triggers like PM2.5, dust mites, pollen are the key triggers to asthma. Asthma affects people across the spectrum. The cases are significantly high in metros and tier 1 cities where pollution levels are dangerously toxic. Asthma cannot be detected till the age of 5. Between 1-5 years, children suffer from symptoms like wheezing, frequent cold, heavy cough, shortness of breath, which are early indicators of asthma. Some people may experience these symptoms every day, while others have symptoms only a few days of the year. If these symptoms worsen, it could lead to an asthma attack, exacerbation, or flare-up. If not treated or controlled over a certain time, uncontrolled asthma can damage the lungs.

“According to various reports, the northern states of India show a higher prevalence of reported asthma cases due to change in weather, harvesting and increased pollen in the air. There are both short and long term alternative solutions to reduce the triggers of asthma. You could use air purifiers if you are suffering from asthma or other related respiratory issues. Air purifiers today are capable of tackling even the minutest of pollutants (up to 0.003 microns, as small as a virus). Children need access to sunlight, exercise and a good diet. Parents need to keep anti-pollution plants, maintain ventilation and install an air purifier in their bedrooms especially if you’re staying in highly polluted cities like Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru,” explains Dr Himanshu Garg, Head Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, W Pratiksha Hospital on behalf of Philips India. It is important to take urgent action against indoor and outdoor aur pollution to tackle the problem of asthma and curb its growing menace.