Tips to maintain nasal hygiene amid air pollution

Air pollution has escalated post Diwali celebrations, and it is more important to take care of your nasal hygiene and lung health.

Air pollution is now recognized as the single biggest environmental threat to human health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ambient air pollution accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year due to a variety of diseases caused or exacerbated by the air we breathe. The air we breathe is filled with polluting particulate matter and a host of viruses and bacteria – many of which are causes of health concerns, including those related to nasal hygiene.

Air impurities enter the respiratory system via inhalation, causing various health effects in all age groups. The health of susceptible and sensitive individuals (pregnant women, kids, elderly and people with severe disorders) can be impacted even on low air pollution days.

nasal hygiene and air pollution
It’s time to protect yourself from air pollution. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Short-term exposure to air pollutants is closely related to cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma, and other respiratory disease, with high rates of hospitalization. Long-term exposure to these also lead to severe conditions like lung diseases, heart disease and central nervous system dysfunctions.

Nasal hygiene matters

Your nose is a passage to various air impurities. Hence, it is important to take care of your nose. Air impurities like allergens, pollutants, bacteria or viruses may enter the nose and get trapped, leading to adverse health implications.

How to guard your nasal hygiene from air pollution
Manage diet

Antioxidants, fibre, protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may help you beat the effects of air pollutants.

Also, read: Can air pollution increase your risk of having a stroke? A doctor clears the air

Regular Nasal Washing

Saline sprays wash out the impurities and debris trapped in the nasal passage. It also supports natural nose functions.

nasal hygiene and air pollution
Air pollution may aggravate nasal suffering with colds and seasonal allergies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Benefits of saline wash to protect nasal hygiene amid air pollution
  • It is a good habit to use a nasal saline wash every day to clean the trapped debris and impurities
  • It also helps to moisturize your dry nose, especially in winter
  • If you are taking any steroids or medications to treat your nasal allergies, it is suggested to rinse your nose with saline before using them. It will clear out debris/mucus and help medications work better.

Take care of your nose and practice nasal hygiene regularly to breathe cleaner.

Minimize the exposure to air pollutants
  • Shift from motorized to active travel like walking and cycling
  • Track the air quality index in your area
  • Exercise regularly but moderate outdoor activity when air pollution levels are high
  • Ventilate your kitchen or cooking room

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