With air pollution reaching unprecedented levels yearly, India’s health crisis has been under tremendous pressure. Danger bells can ring for a person in distress from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma amidst the rising air pollution that is detrimental to one’s health, where air pollution adds to the woes.


India’s troubles with air pollution are nothing new. Pollution from vehicles, factories, power plants using coals, and major ones like stubble burning during winter makes the air difficult to breathe. Currently exposed to a high level of ambient and household air pollutants, the adverse effects of air pollution are leading to increased morbidity and premature mortality.


A recent report from The Indian Chest Society suggests concerns about the direct impact of air pollution on COPD. The report also mentions that more than half of the cases of COPD in India are due to over exposure to high levels of air pollution.



Long-term exposure to air pollution leads to certain detrimental conditions for the lungs, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Air pollution-related lung diseases are fatal, leading to heart and blood vessel disorders that may sometimes lead to lung cancer.


Delicate particulate matter in the air and toxic chemicals make breathing difficult and reduce lung function over time.


The major symptoms of the lung getting affected are coughing more, difficulty breathing, wheezing, irritation in the nose and throat, breathlessness, sudden asthma attacks, etc.


Tiny particles can build up in the lungs and impact how cells replicate, which could lead to DNA damage and cancer.


Preventive measures

These days, air purifiers are available that can mitigate the crisis. Using inhalers is a good option; however, in severe asthmatic attacks, the inhaler must be handy. Keeping the doors and windows closed in intense fog and smog will keep the harmful air at bay. Using face masks while moving out, avoiding busy roads with chances of slow-moving traffic, and being far away from factories and industrial areas can give better results.


Apart from air pollution, cigarette smoking is another means by which the lung gets infected, and that can happen indoors. Keeping pollution at bay is a challenging task. The only means to avoid the lungs getting infected in the long run is to follow specific guidelines and get the help of a medical practitioner in case things get out of hand.