Just like food and water, fresh air is also one of the basic necessities for human beings. The third largest cause of death among all the health risks in India, it is impossible to breathe fresh and healthy air. According to the State Global Air 2019 by Health Effects Institute (HEI), 1.2 million people died due to air pollution in India in 2017.
The air we breathe is contaminated with harmful pollutants caused by the emission from factories, power plants, burning coal, wood, and vehicle exhaust. In fact, the indoor air is 5 times more polluted than the outdoors. Poor air quality is a serious everyone, however, the effects of air pollution on senior citizens are even worse. Read on to find out how air pollution can be deadly for senior citizens.
Effects of Air Pollution on Senior Citizens
The most common reason why elderly people are at a higher risk is that aging reduces the proper functioning of their body parts. Their lungs capacity of filtering out fresh air decrease with age, the presence of toxic pollutants in the air can lead to many respiratory diseases in elderly people. Here are some of the effects of air pollution on senior citizens.
- Immune system- The immune system of elderly people is not as strong as a young adult. As a result, they find it difficult to tackle the harmful effects of polluted air.
- Breathing Problems- Air pollution also affects the respiratory system of elderly people. The presence of PM 2.5 and carcinogen agents enter the respiratory tract and lead to asthma, COPD and breathing problems.
- Heart- The heart functioning of a senior citizen is affected by pollution. Aging slows down their heart functioning and they face lots of breathing problems when the pollution level is high.
- Vision Problem- Elderly people usually have a vision problem, if the dust in the air increase due to pollution it becomes difficult for them to see properly. They also face problems such as sore throat, itchy eyes and skin rashes due to air pollution.
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How to Protect Senior Citizen from Air Pollution
In order to protect the elderly people of your home, here are a few steps that you need to follow
Monitor Air Quality
The first thing you should do if there is a senior citizen in your house with respiratory disease is to check the level of pollution inside the home. Respiratory disease can get worse when there is poor air quality at home. You must check the quality of air so that you can take the necessary step to control it.
Avoid Smoking Indoor
As elderly people have weak lungs, avoid smoking inside the house when senior citizens are there. Passive smoking can be very harmful to them.
Air Purifying Plants
There are few plants that not only beautify your surrounding but also purify the air such as peace lily, spider plant, garden mum, English Ivy.
Use Face Mask
Old people are at more risk, so make sure they wear a face mask while going outside for a long time when the pollution levels are high.
Install Air Purifier
The best way to protect your loved ones from air pollution is to install a high-quality air purifier. Choose a HEPA air purifier that has an advanced air purification technology and removes 99.9% of air pollutants.
Elderly people are the most important members in every family, and we must provide them with a healthy and safe environment. Breathing fresh and pure air is essential for them to stay healthy as they are vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality.