Dust storm – health problems & precautions

A massive thunderstorm coupled with high-speed dusty winds hit the national capital on Friday evening, throwing life out of gear as it crippled road traffic, metro services, flight operations and power supply network.

Moreover, this dust storm impacted adversely health of many. Delhi & NCR could witness a dust storm again, told by Met Department.

Dust storm and high air pollution could trigger health problems ‘lasting weeks’. Asthmatics, people with chronic lung conditions and cystic fibrosis sufferers could have their conditions worsened by these dust storms and dusty pollutions with lots of allergens.

Undiagnosed asthma could find the current pollution levels trigger the condition also. There is reasonably good evidence from epidemiological studies to show that these dusty pollution does appear to give a higher incidence of chest problems – be they asthma, COPD, or other.

Minimizing Exposure to Allergens

You can reduce or prevent exposure to these common allergens and irritants during dust storm that provoke asthmatic attacks by simply avoiding outdoor activity. You should not exercise outdoors when air pollution levels are high during stormy days.

When levels of air pollution are high, people with these conditions, or anyone else who finds themselves coughing or wheezing in times of high pollution, should avoid strenuous exercise outdoors and are better off trying to exercise away from pollution hotspots, such as busy roads or during rush hour.

How to Survive a Dust Storm or Sandstorm

1. Put a mask over your nose and mouth
2. Protect your eyes
3. Shield yourself from flying objects

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Dr. Anil Singhal MD (Homeo)