Wednesday January 29, 2020

Air purifiers a good way to stay away from major respiratory diseases: Doctors

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New Delhi: In order to prevent respiratory diseases caused by indoor air pollution, doctors suggest people to install air purifiers at home which can prove helpful in preventing them.

According to doctors, air purifiers are becoming more reliable for people in cities because pollutants released indoors were 1,000 times more likely to reach the lungs than pollutants released outdoors.

More than 5.5 million people worldwide die prematurely every year due to household and outdoor air pollution, and India and China together account for 55 percent of these deaths, research has found.

Air pollution has come up as one of the major health challenges of modern Indian cities. With increasing respiratory problems, it is now important to know about pollutants, and their health hazards.

“Air purifiers are emerging as a good way to stay away from major respiratory diseases caused by indoor air pollution,” said Raj Kumar, head of respiratory allergy and applied immunology at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.

He said recent studies have revealed the strong link between major respiratory and lung diseases due to air pollution, which clearly indicated the need to cut down the sources of indoor air pollution.

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring air quality of Indian metropolitan cities as the worst in the world, healthcare professionals are registering a sharp rise in respiratory problems, especially in immuno-compromised population like children, elderly and people with health issues or malnutrition.

Himanshu Garg, head of respiratory and critical care at Artemis Hospital, said: “In India, we have a long-standing tradition of burning of ‘incense sticks’ and ‘dhoop’ that could increase the concentration of particulate matter (PM) by about 15 times more than the permitted levels.”

“Smoke emitted by these releases harmful pollutants. Along with this, smoke from tobacco and cooking and dust from carpets, furniture and curtains, etc. add to the indoor air pollution.”

“Health problems caused can be reduced by installing air purifiers, which bring down the percentage of pollutants in the air,” said Garg. (IANS, Image source: austinair.com)

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Bariatric Surgery may Help Resolve Respiratory Issues

Weight loss surgery may improve breathing issues

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Researchers have revealed that Bariatric surgery and weight loss appear to reverse some of the negative effects of obesity on the respiratory system. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that Bariatric surgery and weight loss appear to reverse some of the negative effects of obesity on the respiratory system.

Known effects of obesity on the respiratory system include increased respiratory work, along with compromised airway resistance and respiratory muscle strength, which may all contribute to restrictive pulmonary function impairment.

As an imaging technology that provides detailed pictures of the lungs and airways, CT has great potential to improve understanding of obesity’s impact on the respiratory system.

Until now, however, there have been few CT studies evaluating obesity’s effects on the lungs and the trachea, often referred to as the windpipe.

“For the first time, this study has demonstrated changes in the CT morphology of large and small airways that improve when individuals lose weight. These features correlate with an improvement in patient symptoms,” said study lead author Susan J. Copley from Hammersmith Hospital in London.

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Known effects of obesity on the respiratory system include increased respiratory work. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Radiology, the research team evaluated changes in the respiratory systems of 51 obese individuals who underwent Bariatric surgery, a treatment for obese patients who haven’t responded to other weight loss approaches.

The procedure reduces the size of the stomach. All participants lost weight post-surgery with a mean body mass index decrease of 10.5 kg/m2.

The researchers used CT to measure the size and shape of the trachea and assessed air trapping, a phenomenon in which excess air remains in the lungs after exhaling, resulting in a reduction in lung function.

Air trapping is an indirect sign of obstruction in the small airways of the lung.

When the researchers compared results at baseline and six months after Bariatric surgery, they found that surgery and weight loss were associated with morphological, or structural, changes to the lung and trachea.

Also Read- Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy Proved to be Harmful: Study

The results suggest that there may be a reversible element of small airway inflammation related to obesity and that reversal of this inflammation correlates with improvement in symptoms. The findings also point to CT as a potential marker of this inflammation.

“CT is a useful morphological marker to demonstrate subtle changes which are not easily assessed by lung function alone,” Copley said. (IANS)