By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: November 20, 2020 7:10:09 pm

Most queries revolve around breathing issues, dust allergy, asthma, respiratory problems, and dry cough. (File)

With increasing pollution and deteriorating air quality, respiratory health-related queries in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata have gone up by 20 per cent between October and November 2020, according to healthcare portal Practo.

With experts pointing out the link between air pollution and increased risk of contracting coronavirus infection, more and more people are consulting doctors online. Most queries revolve around “breathing issues, dust allergy, asthma, respiratory problems, dry cough, to name a few”, Practo stated in a press release. The queries mostly came from people in the age group 21-30 (34 per cent), and those aged 60 and above (28 per cent).

About 79 per cent of all respiratory-related health queries came from men. In metro cities, most queries came from Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune. Among the non-metro cities, most queries were from Visakhapatnam, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kanpur, and Indore.

Talking about the dip in air quality, ENT specialist Dr Rajesh Bhardwaj was quoted as saying, “This happens due to various factors – since cold air is denser, particles remain suspended in it for a long period and remain on the surface. This is also aggravated by low winds, farm stubble burning, construction activity, and cracker bursting around Diwali time. Indoor air is as polluted, sometimes more so than outside air – this is because toxic particles can remain trapped inside in closed spaces.”

Read | Three antioxidant-rich foods that can help you fight the effects of air pollution

“Poor quality air is a great threat to us as it directly impacts our health, especially among the vulnerable category of people like elders, children and pregnant women. Allergy, respiratory problems, cardiac problems are all triggered by pollution and become fatal. Hence, it is important to consult doctors even if there is a slight feeling of discomfort during this time,” he further said.

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