Official claims of good air quality notwithstanding, Delhi reports breathing problems.
NEW DELHI, Sep 12 (The CONNECT) - Despite the official claims of control over Delhi’s air quality, Sinusitis cases in the capital have witnessed a steep 40-50% rise in sinusitis cases due to increased environmental and vehicular pollution in this years, say doctors.
Delhi’s air is not at all safe for breathing and can lead to various health problems,” said Dr Sanjiv Dang, ENT Specialist, Apollo Spectra Delhi Karol Bagh.
An official press release on August 31, however, claimed that Delhi registers its best ever average air quality during the last 8 years i.e., from 2016 to 2023 (barring the COVID affected 2020).
An overall daily average AQI level of below 200 for the period from January ‑ August has been observed only during 2021 onwards, with the lowest being 174 in 2023 (barring the COVID affected 2020).
AQI is greatly impacted by the levels of rainfall/ precipitation and wind speed. The month of August 2023 has been one of the driest, with a rain deficit of about 30% over the normal in the entire country and a significant deficit also in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan of more than 50% over normal. Strong dust storm activities occurred during 26th and 28th August also led to transient increase in PM10 concentrations. Despite this scenario, the daily average AQI for all 31 days in the month of August remained in “Satisfactory - Moderate” air quality category.
Delhi witnessed highest number of days (163) with “Good” to “Moderate” air quality (Daily Average AQI<200) during January – August 2023 as compared to the corresponding period for last 5 years (barring the COVID affected 2020).
Dr Dang said the cases of upper respiratory infections are rising at a rapid rate with many complaining of sinusitis. Average 5-6 sinusitis patients came to daily to the Apollo OPD.
Poor air quality leads to the inhalation of fine particulate matter and pollutants that can irritate the sinus linings, triggering sinusitis symptoms. Besides, Sinus can also be caused due to cold, allergies, infections and even viruses, fungi, bacteria, toxic medications, and nasal abnormalities.
Fungal sinusitis has also increased over the last few years, he said.
Sinusitis, often referred to as a sinus infection, occurs when the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed or infected. Runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, loss of smell, facial pain, and pressure, fatigue, dental pain, and a headache are some common Symptoms. The exacerbation of sinusitis cases due to poor air quality highlights the urgent need for comprehensive measures to combat air pollution in Delhi.
Dr Dang recommended precautions such as indoor plants that are known to purify the air through their detoxifying properties. If a certain area near your house is under construction, consider taking a different route to commute to avoid breathing harmful air particles, he said.