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Public Health and Homeopathy Awareness Initiative Series
Air Pollution: Its Effects on Health & Role of Homeopathy in Air Pollution Related Diseases
Dr. Bharti Arora, MD (Hom.), BHMS (Silver Medalist), Co-Founder: Vivid Homeopathy
Issued in Public Interest by
Arora’s Homeopathic Clinic
An Establishment under
www.arorasclinic.com | email@example.com | +91 9811425214
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Air is the Most Essential Thing
Air is a mechanical mixture of gases, and the most essential thing for an organism to survive. It normally contains Nitrogen (78%), Oxygen (21%), Carbon dioxide and other gases in proportion. In addition to these gases, air also contains water vapour, traces of ammonia and suspended matter such as dust, bacteria, spores, and vegetable debris, etc.
Apart from supplying the life-giving oxygen, air and atmospheric conditions serve several functions. The human body is cooled by the air contact; special senses of hearing and smell function through air-transmitted stimuli; disease agents are conveyed by air.
The term “air pollution” denotes the presence of substances (e.g. gases, mixtures of gases and particulate matter) in the ambient surroundings, generated by the activities that interfere with the human health, safety or comfort, and is injurious to organisms, and other environmental media. It also results in chemicals entering the food chain, drinking water and thereby, adding substantial disease burden and affecting the quality of life. The problem of air pollution was first recognized about 500 years ago when the burning of coal in cities was increasing, and since then it is increasing at an alarming rate all over the globe.
During foggy weather, when little wind is present the smoke generated from pollution is mixed with fog and form “SMOG”
The smog is making it difficult for people to see and breathe.
- Personal air exposure: refers to exposure to dust, fumes and gases to which an individual is exposed directly or indirectly, eg. Smoking.
- Occupational air exposure: exposure to harmful concentration of aerosols, vapors, and gases in working environment.
- Community air exposure: This is most serious, complex, consists of varieties of assortment of pollution sources, meteorological factors, and wide variety of adverse social, economic, and health effects.
Till date more than 100 substances have been identified which pollute the air. These vary from place to place depending upon the specific complex of contaminant source. Following are few examples of primary and secondary air pollutants:
- Carbon monoxide
- Sulphur dioxide
- Nitrogen oxides
- Particulate matter
- PAN (peroxy acetyl nitrate)
- Photochemical smog
- Aerosols and mists: Sulphuric acid (H2SO4), Nitric acid (HNO3)
Indoor Air Pollution
- Indoor air pollution is one of the four most critical global environmental problems.
- It exposes more people worldwide to important air pollutants than pollution in outdoor air.
- Rural people in developing countries may receive as much as two-thirds of the global exposure to particulates.
- Women and children suffer the greatest exposure.
Sources of Indoor Pollution
- Indoor air pollution contributes to acute respiratory infections in young children, chronic lung disease, and cancer in adults, and may induce adverse pregnancy outcomes.
- Non-smoking women exposed to indoor coal smoke have a risk of lung cancer similar to that of men who smoke lightly.
Effects on Health
Air pollution has short term and long term effects. The direct effects are reflected in airway system and then spread to multi-systems. It ranges from:
- Upper and lower respiratory tract infections (acute and chronic)
- Acute and recurrent bronchitis
- Acute respiratory distress
- Asthmatic attacks
- Aggravation of pre-existing respiratory and heart disease.
- Lung cancer
The short term and long term exposure is also linked with short life expectancy and reduced quality of life.
Effects of specific pollutants
The keywords of general management with respect to Air Pollution are:
- More you prevent yourself from harmful allergens, dust, smoke, pollution and smog, more it would be beneficial for your health.
- Try to avoid early morning exposure to smog, cold air when your city is too much polluted.
- Avoid travelling in crowded areas, malls and street where number of people and vehicles are intense.
- Avoid taking walks on main roads, rather prefer parks with greenery.
- Eating healthy foods keep your immunity intact and strong.
- Food items like Jaggery, food rich in vitamin E and C keeps your immunity intact.
- Avoid taking spicy and sour foods.
Keep your airways clear and clean
- Use masks where ever necessary.
- Avoid smoking and Passive-Smoking.
- Keep your home free of dust, perfumes, strong smells and garbage.
- Timely medication helps your immunity to fight disease better.
- Don’t ignore symptoms even if they are minor and nonspecific.
- Keep yourself educated regarding hazards of air pollution and how to tackle them.
- Keep an eye on neighbourhood for any polluting activities such as open fires, release of chemicals from factories, old polluting vehicles etc.
- Try not to use own vehicles when you are travelling alone.
- Opt for Car-Pool in where ever possible.
Ask for your rights
- At working environments ask for masks, air purifiers, and less exposure to air/chemical pollution
- Take opinion of medical specialists if you feel unwell while working.
- Support govt. initiatives to keep your city clean and green
Role of Homeopathy in Diseases arising from Air Pollution
Homeopathy heals holistically!
- Homeopathic medicines stimulates the body’s inner strength and boost the immune system to work well i.e. to reduce the disease load and to improve the overall health.
- The constitutional or individualized homeopathy is known to reduce to tendency to catch respiratory illnesses.
- The prescription is dependent upon symptoms, signs, tendencies, history and causation.
- The treatment can be curative, palliative or supportive depending upon state and staging of disease.
- In every stage homeopathy has a definitive role to play.
- Homeopathic medicines can be taken safely along with other/conventional medications (ADD-ON Therapy).
- In addition to constitutional/individualized medicines, the following medicines are frequently used on the basis of causation and symptom similarity:
- Allium cepa: Rhinitis, coryza copious, fluent, watery, acrid discharge; burning in nose, mouth, throat; violent sneezing; eyes red, burning with profuse, watery, bland lacrimation; headache, cough, hoarseness.
- Ammonium carb: Complaints from fumes, charcoal fumes; emphysematous changes in lungs; frequent sneezing, profuse discharge from nose, burning like hot water; stoppage of nose at night, wake up from sleep; sensation of dust particles in throat; dry tickling cough; chokes; wheezing.
- Arsenicum album: An important remedy that is used in majority of complaints incidental to air pollutants, e.g. conjunctivitis, rhinitis, asthmatic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, leukaemia and other malignancies, etc; quick respiration; suffocation inducing cough; scanty, frothy expectoration; sneezing without relief; burning in eyes; burning pains all over.
- Blatta orientalis: Complaints from fumes, coal dust, smoke; relieves bronchospasm, acts as expectorant; dyspnoea, oppression of breathing; cough, with thick and purulent sputum.
- Bromium: Complaints from coal dust; allergy to dust; complaints of sailors who suffer from asthma when they go ashore, better on sea. Dry spasmodic cough, airway feels filled with smoke; difficulty in inspiring, as if breathing through sponge.
- Carbo veg: Complaints from carbon gas, carbon monoxide, dust, smoke, fumes from incomplete combustion of fuels. Collapse from imperfect oxidation. Oppressed, quick respiration; air-hunger, longing for fresh air; wants windows open; long spasms of cough with weakness, wheezing, gagging.
- Cassia sophera: Complaints from exposure to dust, smoke; asthma, dry cough, with pain in chest, irritation in throat, better warmth; expectoration thick, yellowish; worse during winters, change of weather.
- Dulcamara: Ailments from changing, damp environment, foggy weather, cold damp conditions, air-conditioned rooms; dry, teasing, spasmodic cough; hoarseness; dyspnoea after physical exertion.
- Euphrasia: Inflammation of the conjunctiva; profuse acrid lacrimation; profuse, fluent bland coryza, sneezing in morning; violent cough in day time, abundant expectoration; worse indoors, warmth; better in open air.
- Lobelia inflata: Ailments from smoke, dust; emphysematous changes; extreme dyspnoea; cough with sneezing, gasping; scanty expectoration; extreme nausea and vomiting, cannot bear taste or smell of tobacco.
- Natrum sulph: Ailments incidental to spring & rainy season; dyspnoea; coughs continuously, towards end hacks up thick, ropy, greenish mucus.
- Pothos foetidus: Ailments from smoke, dust; great dyspnoea and cough, frequent sneezing, pain in throat and chest, anxiety, abdominal distension and tension, better in open air.
- Phosphorus: An important remedy that may be used in majority of complaints incidental to air pollutants, e.g. conjunctivitis, rhinitis, asthmatic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, leukaemia, and other malignancies, etc. Breathing anxious, panting, short, hurried, very much oppressed; tightness across chest; violent hard, dry, tight, racking cough in spasmodic paroxysms.
- Plumbum metallicum: An important remedy for lead toxicity. Interference with homoeostasis, rapid reduction in number of red cells, with pallor, icterus, anaemia. Localized neuralgic pains, neuritis, paralysis, wrist drop; stinging and tearing in limbs, with twitching, numbness.
- Sulphurous acid: Persistent choking cough with copious expectoration; hoarseness, constriction of chest, difficult breathing.
- Sabadilla: Rhinitis, pharyngitis; violent spasmodic sneezing, abundant watery nasal discharge, itching and tingling in nose, redness and burning in eyes, lacrimation, frontal headache, dryness and irritation in throat.
- Sambucus: Nasobronchial hypersensitivity; paroxysmal nightly suffocative attacks; nose stopped up at night, breath through mouth; cough deep, restlessness, profuse perspiration.
- Sanguinaria can: Nasobronchial hypersensitivity, asthmatic bronchitis. Severe dyspnoea, constriction in chest, severe spasmodic cough. Expectoration of thick yellow mucus, dislodged with difficulty. Sneezing, profuse watery mucus from nose; sensitive to flowers, odours.
- Spongia: Complaints from sudden change of atmosphere, smoke. Severe form of asthmatic bronchitis, with dryness of respiratory tract. Severe dyspnoea, with wheezing, suddenly wakes up at night with intense suffocation; respiration rapid, short.
This article does not intend to replace the in-person consultation. The facts are for general purpose and public awareness only, and must not be taken as Medical Consultation in any form. For consultation, treatment and specific queries you need to contact your healthcare professional.
Not for Medico-legal purposes.
© Vivid Homeopathy & Arora’s Homeopathic Clinic 2017.
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