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Monsoon is a much-awaited season to give relief from the scorching heat, but it is also a season that increases the risk of infections. Respiratory problems and lung health cases witness a steady increase during monsoon. It impacts not only patients with existing conditions but also otherwise healthy people. This makes it necessary to ensure healthy lungs.
HealthShots got in touch with Dr Amit P Gawnde, Consultant Pulmonologist, Sujay Hospital, Mumbai, who rolled out some great tips to keep your lungs in good shape.
Dr Gawnde says “The first step to fighting common respiratory illnesses such pneumonia, asthma, infective bronchitis and influenza, and other virus is to identify any signs and symptoms of breathing discomfort or persistent cough and cold. Once identified, do not dismiss it as a common cold and seek medical help immediately instead of self-medicating or worse just getting an inhaler or nebulizer from the drug store.”
Due to the increase in the pollen content in the air during monsoon, allergens spread really fast. Although it sounds like a simple task, it is important to keep your house extremely clean during the monsoon. Any fabric used in the house, be it your sofa covers, blinds, bedsheets and table cloths should be kept clean and dry. It is highly advisable to wear a mask while cleaning your home if members in your family are allergic to dust and pollen. Take notice and get rid of wet walls, moulds, pooling of water in open pots and containers to prevent the growth of infesting microbes and virus.
Most lung diseases attack a body with low or compromised immunity. It is important to consume foods which are high in antioxidants like nuts and berries to keep your immunity high. Include vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of vegetables, fruits and lean meat and fish.
“For people who have hectic schedules and cannot manage a balanced diet every day, consult your physician to prescribe multivitamins and immune boosters before the monsoon season is in full swing,” adds, Dr Gawnde.
For people suffering from an existing respiratory condition or are highly allergic, it is advisable to follow a daily steam inhalation process. Remember to breathe in from your nose and breathe out from your mouth. This is a simple yet highly effective way to keep your airways clear and healthy. Children above the age of five are also advised to follow this if needed.
According to Dr Gawnde, “One of the common causes of pneumonia is being wet for a prolonged period of time. Try to restrict getting wet and if you do get wet, make sure you dry your feet and palm immediately. Keep an extra pair of clothes in your bag so that you don’t go around in wet clothes.”
For people with comorbidities and those above the age of 60 should get their influenza and pneumonia shots before the monsoon hits. “It is much better to take preventive measures than to fight the disease later, especially in the case of senior citizens.” advises Dr Gawnde.
Anyone suffering from conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, tuberculosis and any such illnesses should consult their pulmonologist before the monsoon season. This will help you to check if their treatment plan needs to be altered. Patients are often advised a change in daily maintenance treatment for acute patients during monsoon season. This may reduce the risk of an attack or arrest the condition at their existing stage.
These simple everyday habits can help you have a healthy lung during monsoon. Additionally, a healthy immune system goes a long way in reducing the chances of contracting any form of lung disease including Covid-19. Lung diseases have a prolonged impact on your body and take a long time to get completely cured. Hence, the best way to take care of your lungs is to take preventive measures today rather than waiting for an illness.