CHENNAI: As the air quality levels go low, hospitals are registering a large number of respiratory-related cases, breathing difficulty and throat infections due to the smoke and pollution.
Experts say that the use of masks and medications for those on treatment are necessary to prevent the illness.
"Number of cases are lower this year when compared to the last few years. However, the hazardous smoke from crackers usually leads to exacerbations in those suffering from health problems such as asthma and breathlessness," said Dr P Balaji, Dean of Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
People who had developed breathless conditions due to Covid, also saw an impact on their health.
Senior pulmonologist Dr Vinod Kumar said we usually see an increase in the cases after a few days of Deepavali since the exposure to this smoke takes some time to spread. “People who have asthma, bronchitis, wheezing, throat infection or other pulmonary problems might see the worsening of the symptoms. It is important for those with breathing problems to avoid exposure to smoke from crackers and use masks. With the limitations on the time for bursting crackers, the numbers have comparatively come down," he said.
Patients also incurred injuries of the eyes because of the dust, allergens and toxic powder from the crackers. Doctors said that the burns or powder from crackers can damage the eyes irreversibly.
Dr S Soundari, zonal head of clinical services at Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital, said, "This Deepavali, we treated around 15 people, including four children, with eye injuries at our hospitals in the city. Most injuries were due to the sudden impact of a cracker blast, with the splinters hitting the eyes. About ten people received treatment as outpatients. Two people are more severely injured and will be undergoing surgery."