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Typically, which are the most polluted times in a city, and what should we do/not do at these times?

All major metropolitan cities and tier 2 cities generally have very high levels of air pollution. Thirteen out of the 20 most polluted cities are in India. There is very little that you can do or not do in these cities. As far as possible, try to avoid going outdoors (which will never be practically feasible for a large number of people). Stay indoors, drink plenty of water and keep yourself well-hydrated and eat plenty of fruits and leafy green vegetables to increase your lung defence.

I developed asthma after I began to smoke. I smoked for about four years, but quit about eight years ago. However, the asthma has not gone away yet. Is there any possibility of it ever going away?

It may very well be asthma that was triggered by tobacco smoking. Asthma is usually a life-long disease, but with a very variable and unpredictable course. In some people, it may go away completely never to return again, but this occurs in a small proportion (10-20%). For most, it is a life-long disease with periods of ups and down. If started on the right medication (usually inhaled drugs to be taken on a regular basis without fail), you can live an almost-normal life. Spirometry will be a necessary test to find out if you have asthma. Do undergo this test and meet a good physician, who will give you more advice based on your reports.

Dr Sundeep Salvi is the Director of the Chest Research Foundation (CRF) Pune, has a PhD in the health effects of air pollution, and is the Vice President of the Indian Chest Society

Nothing in this column is intended to be, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek independent advice from a licensed practitioner if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Email your questions at mp_health@thehindu.co.in

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 6:30:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/dr-sundeep-salvi-answers-questions-on-effects-of-air-pollution-on-health/article25870393.ece

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