“The symptoms in asthma patients we are now seeing were common due to aggravated pollution levels during Bogi, Deepavali. However, similar symptoms including chest congestion, breathlessness and chest pain are appearing in at least 20 per cent of patients daily due to poor air quality,” said Dr Ranjith Veeramani Thangavelu, senior assistant surgeon at Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine.
The effect of pollutants is highest among children and older people as viral infection and pollutants trigger wheezing more frequently. “Under the age group of 5, children are more vulnerable to wheezing due to the presence of air pollutants,” Dr A Balachandar, consultant pulmonologist at ABC Clinic, explained. Doctors claim that there is a spike in asthma cases city usually during the months of September to December due to seasonal variations, but the cases are comparatively higher this year.
“There is seasonal variation in asthmatics. Even if the patients are on inhalers and oral medications regularly, they do get some exacerbation during rainy and winter seasons or may be triggered due to pollutants. A 5-10 percent increase is being seen in Asthma patients. The age demographics of the patients affected by asthma are 10- 20 years and after 50 years, especially the women,” said Dr R Sridhar, consultant pediatrician at Stanley Medical College.