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Air Purifying Plants

 

Whether it’s driving through crazy traffic or bustling about in a congested metro station, at times like these, what most of us would wish for is some solace and fresh and clean air like we’d probably find in the comfort of our own living spaces.

Speaking of which, it’s intriguing to observe that the air indoors may not be as clean as one might think. There could be toxins degrading the quality of air in our homes without our knowledge.

The volatile chemicals from air fresheners and insect repellents, formaldehyde present in paints and varnishes, indoor allergens like mold and dust mites, benzene from the detergents and Off Gassing (emission of harmful chemicals when building materials degrade) are some factors contributing to indoor air pollution.

People with lung disorders may be sensitive to indoor pollutants, but in others the negative impact of indoor pollutants may show up after persistent exposure.

Keep it clean with green

The key is we need eco-friendly air purifiers to sort this out. An ideal option would be to do adopt house plants to keep the pollutants at bay.

1) Aloe Vera:

It helps clearing formaldehyde and benzene from the air. If you are looking for easy maintenance, this plant makes an ideal candidate. They do best in dry conditions, which means they need bright light and slightly moist soil. Apart from the air purification abilities, the slimy gel like substance present inside the aloe vera leaf can be used to heal skin rashes, burns and cuts.

2) Peace Lily:

This thing of beauty possesses some amazing air purifying abilities. According to the NASA Clean Air Study, it can get rid of formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and ammonia. It also removes mold from the air. Care needs to be taken before placing this plant at home especially if you have dogs or cats since it can be toxic to pets.

3) Areca Palm:

This one’s an excellent air humidifier. You could rely on this to keep the air in your office or home moist especially when the weather is dry. It’s a brilliant option to switch to Areca Palms during winters than using Electric Humidifiers. It does not pose any threat to pets too.

4) Bamboo Palm:

Here’s another easy-care one. This plant can thrive in shady indoors. Can reach a height of about 6 feet. It is quite effective in eliminating indoor air pollutants like benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

5) Snake Plant:

The snake plant is known for its healing properties for SBS (Sick building syndrome). SBS is a condition affecting office workers/building occupants marked by health issues like ear, nose and throat irritation; headaches; nausea; fatigue and respiratory problems, though no specific cause can be identified. However it is generally attributed to unhealthy factors such as poor indoor air quality. Considering it needs low light and humid conditions for its survival, it can also be placed in bathrooms. It filters out formaldehyde which is commonly found in personal care products.

6) Gerber Daisy:

Bothered by the unpleasant odour that comes with dry cleaning? This brightly coloured plant can eliminate the smell by filtering out trichloroethylene. They survive well in well-drained soil and need direct sunlight.

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7 tips to a healthy breathing lifestyle

7 tips to a healthy breathing lifestyle

Pollution levels across the country are reaching an all-time high. Unless we all do something about it proactively, those levels will keep rising. Breathing in polluted air can be life-threatening and is one of the primary reasons for the increase in the number of reported cases of Asthma, COPD and other lung ailments.

While there is a need to curb the pollution levels, the need to mitigate the effect of pollution on the quality of your life is urgent. This article attempts to provide you insights on how you can maintain a healthy respiratory system in spite of all the pollution around.

COPD is an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. All these illnesses are largely influenced by the kind of air you breathe. Your respiratory system will deteriorate if these ailments are not tended to during the early stages. Although you can’t really control the quality of the air you breathe, there are some good practices that you can adopt to alleviate the problems caused due to air pollution.

  1. Avoid Smoking: One of the most stereotypical topics of discussion isn’t it? If you (reader) are a smoker, it is harder said than done! But you wouldn’t be helping your case much if you don’t even try. Avoid smoking in its entirety, refrain from passive smoking as well. Cigars to the local beedis to E-Cigarettes, say no to everything.
  2. Drink Lots of Water: With COPD, accumulation of mucus in your airways is common and it is persistent. This can be reduced by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water!
  3. Healthy Diet Plan: A healthy diet can help manage and improve COPD symptoms. Your diet should have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to ensure you’re getting lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Steer clear from processed, canned and frozen foods; the additives, preservatives and food dyes used in them are also known for contributing to breathing issues.
  4. Reduce Stress: Stress is associated with depressive symptoms and worse quality of life in individuals with COPD, much more than in those without COPD.
  5. Exercise: By regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, you can strengthen your respiratory muscles. Obesity has been associated with decreased lung-function and with increased prevalence of several lung diseases and with compromised pulmonary function.
  6. Pranayama: Breathing exercises (pranayama), mainly expiratory exercises, improve lung function and should be made a regular on your schedule.
  7. Avoid Dust: Dust in your respiratory tract will lead to more mucus secretions aggravating your troubles. Face mask in dusty environments will help keep the dust off your respiratory tract.

Though the above-mentioned tips don’t provide instant relief, they definitely help in the long run. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that entails all the above tips will certainly help improve the symptoms of breathing-related issues.

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4 tips to keep your lungs healthy

4 Tips to keep your lungs healthy

 

Some people will remember a time when they could breathe deep almost anywhere, and they would feel the fresh air rush into their lungs.
Considering the current predicament, with pollution at an all-time high, in most places around the world, feeling suffocated is normal. The news that is circulating in the media does not paint a bright picture either.

According to Indian Journal of Medical Research, “Lung cancer constitutes 6.9 percent of total new cancer cases and 9.3 percent of total cancer-related deaths”. And this number is increasing at an alarming rate. COPD is one of the major problems that can cause serious complications.
However, there are a few things you can do to keep your lungs healthy.

  1. Quit Smoking


    Tobacco causes one death every 6 seconds around the world and it is estimated that tobacco use will cause 8 million deaths by 2030. The Statistics are sure to scare people, yet the number of people smoking is on the rise. The best thing you can do is to stop smoking or avoid starting in the first place. Passive smoking can also lead to COPD, and Lung cancer.

  2. Avoid Exposing yourself to pollutants

    As of December 2017, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is at 267 in New Delhi. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the range that is globally accepted is between 101 – 150, even though this range can affect people suffering from respiratory diseases. 267 is considered extremely unhealthy. Exploring the city without a mask is dangerous and can cause numerous respiratory problems.
    Acquiring a high-quality pollution mask, preferably N95 or greater, can alleviate the risk.

  3. Swimming

    Swimming not only increases your muscle strength but also increases the lung capacity. The more you swim, the better your blood pressure, which makes breathing a lot easier. Swimming can significantly help improve lung capacity for the elderly and people with breathing problems.

  4. Breathing Exercises

    With the amount of smoke and pollutants in the environment today, breathing can be hard even for people with no breathing issues.Why?
    Your lungs are doing their best to expel the carbon-di-oxide from your body. If you can boost your lung capacity, this process becomes a lot easier. Yoga is considered one of the best breathing exercises. People living in Urban and the Suburban areas should opt for yoga, to maintain a healthy respiratory system.

  5. The Conclusion

    With global pollution levels on the rise, it is unlikely that the air quality will reach safe levels, but these tips can come in handy, saving you and your loved ones from serious respiratory complications and will help you to lead healthier more active lives.

    To know more about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), click here

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What is COPD? (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

What is COPD? (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Do you have trouble with your breathing on a regular basis?

If the answer is yes, you may have a condition known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD for short. COPD are diseases that make breathing difficult. The two most common conditions that lead to COPD are Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. Emphysema is a condition when the linings of the tiny air sacs(alveoli) in your lungs become damaged beyond repair. Over time, the lung damage gets worse. In chronic bronchitis, exposure to tobacco smoke and other pollutants cause lung irritation and over time can lead to inflammation in the airways that deliver air into the lungs via the bronchial tubes. As a result, the airways produce more mucus than they would otherwise. The Inflammation reduces air flow to the lungs causing coughing and shortness of breath, and as time progresses, it will become harder to breathe.

 

If you live in a metropolitan city, you have probably noticed the air is thick with smog. COPD is common in cities where effluents from motor vehicles and other pollutants are thick in the air. Air is essential for life, and the air in most major cities is polluted far beyond safe thresholds and is likely to cause harmful effects in the long term.

Furthermore, in densely populated cities with a large concentration of vehicles, factories or other sources of air pollution there is “leakage” of pollutants from the city to outlying areas. Similarly, the hazards in one place can become airborne and reach far beyond their source. Another common misconception is that, if the air does not have an odour, it is safe to breathe. Many pollutants or hazards can become airborne without being detected. Some pollutants, inhaled even in trace quantities can have adverse health effects.

 

COPD is a common effect of Air Pollution, but there is a broad range of undesirable effects, from irritation in the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat to fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. In severe cases, the respiratory tract and lungs can be affected and can lead to severe impacts on an individual’s health. Listed below are some of the diseases that can occur due to or because of COPD:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Impaired lung function
  • Pulmonary cancer
  • Mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by asbestos
  • Pneumonia
  • Leukaemia
  • Birth defects
  • Immune system defects
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Neurobehavioral disorders
  • Liver and other types of cancer
  • Premature death

The Global Burden of Disease Study reports a prevalence of 251 million cases of COPD globally in 2016, and out of these more than 90% of COPD deaths occur in low­ and middle­income countries.

The number of COPD cases are increasing at an alarming rate. The general lack of awareness of COPD can prove to be lethal if not attended to during the early stages. Hope this blog helps shed some light on COPD and how neglected it has been throughout the years.

 

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What is a Nebulizer? How does it help me breathe?

nebuliser-breathing-asthma

What is a Nebulizer? How does it help me breathe?

 

If you have asthma or any breathing related issues, your doctor may prescribe a nebulizer as treatment.

You may begin to ask;

What is a nebulizer?

How does it help me breathe?

This blog will address your questions.

Nebulizer

A nebulizer is a medical device which delivers liquid or aerosol medications that can help you breathe to your lungs via a mask or mouthpiece.  It helps in converting liquid medicine into vapour or mist so that it can be inhaled directly into the lungs. It uses electricity to generate compressed air which turns medication from in a liquid form into vapour. The medicines are inhaled as mist because it hastens the action of the medication on the respiratory tract.

Medications given via nebulizer can treat acute conditions or can prevent respiratory problems from developing. Nebulizers are typically used for the treatment of breathing-related problems like cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases or disorders.

Another medical device that is frequently confused with the nebulizer is the metered-dose inhaler; they are pocket-sized inhalers. Inhalers and nebulizers both deliver the same medicine.

Nebuliser or Inhaler, which is better for me?

  1. In an emergency, if you are struggling to breathe and need a high dose of your reliever medicine, then you probably need a nebulizer.
  2. An inhaler requires you to take deep breaths, but during a severe asthma attack it is not a viable method as your airways have become narrow and taking deep breaths is not a possibility.
  3. A nebulizer is easy to operate and therefore it is a perfect alternative for old people and small children who otherwise find inhalers difficult as it requires a little coordination. Also, the medication in a nebulizer treatment flows continuously.
  4. A nebulizer is portable and comes in very handy during an acute attack situation. It takes approximately 10 minutes to deliver a full dose of medication and the relief is immediate.
  5. Having a nebulizer at home provides some psychological support to the person.
  6. Nebulizers as a treatment for lung disease are better than oral medications or inhalers. Most people who have severe asthma prefer nebulizer over inhaler to get better relief.

How can I maintain my Nebuliser?

  1. After each use, clean your nebulizer. Disconnect the mask, mouthpiece, and chamber and wash all three pieces with warm soapy water and air dry them before storing them away
  2. Change the mouthpieces, masks, and tube once every three months.
  3. Even if you need to use someone else’s nebulizer, make sure you don’t use their mouthpiece, mask or tubing.

All in all, a nebulizer helps you clear the blockage in your respiratory tract and enables you to breathe normally, without wheezing.