Morning walks are supposed to be good for your health but not during winter.
Doctors are treating a line of morning walkers suffering from respiratory ailments.
Dr Jalil Parker, chest physician at Lilavati Hospital, said: “Early morning sees pollutants at the lower strata of the atmosphere and this is the reason behind morning walkers falling ill. There has been a rise in patients suffering from bronchial asthma and respiratory allergies.”
The common symptoms of most patients are dry cough, running nose, low-grade fever and breathlessness, say doctors.
Dr Hemant Thacker, senior general physician, said: “Winter is slowly setting in but every third person in the city has running nose, fever and so on. The upper respiratory tract infection problem is mainly because of the construction works going on in the city, dust and other pollution.”
Every day, Dr Thacker sees around eight people suffering from upper respiratory tract infection.
Dr Jaising Phadtare, professor of pulmonary disease and intensivist at Grant Medical College, said: “The upper respiratory tract infection is because of two factors — dip in temperature and pollution. People, who inhale cold air experience constriction in the throat, nasal passage and sound box. This leads to shortness of breath, swelling of throat, sneezing and stuffy nose.”
The drop in night temperature in December, January and February creates a blanket of cold air over the city which prevents pollutants from factory chimneys, vehicular emission and incineration of garbage from rising up and dispersing.
The mixture of fog with pollutants, smog, can cause or aggravate health problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems as well as eye irritation and reduced resistance to colds and lung infections.
People end up breathing a cocktail of lethal gases trapped in the smog. Weather bureau records show that Mumbai has 60 to 70 hazy days between November to February.
Dos and don’ts
Take the flu shot. It can help improve immunity in avoiding ailments like asthma, respiratory infections, cold, obstructive lung diseases
Stay away from polluting atmosphere and do simple deep breathing exercises. Also, maintain personal hygiene to avoid spreading infections
Avoid crowded places or use a mask. Cover your mouth while sneezing; wear warm clothes, drink and eat warm food.