Whether you live in a busy city, outskirts, or the countryside, air pollution is something that we all encounter at one
point or another. The robust industrial development and rapidly increasing number of vehicles on the road have made
it even more difficult for one to escape pollution. High concentration of chemicals such as Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur
Dioxide, and diesel exhaust particles from motor vehicles and factories pollute our air every day. A recent WHO study
found that an astounding 9 out of 10 people on Earth breathe highly polluted air. India is among the most polluted
countries in the world. In fact, out of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, 9 are in India.
These pollutants may usually irritate the eyes, nose and airways of normal people, but those who suffer from allergies feel worse. Air pollutants have also been known to modify the allergenicity of certain pollens as they are capable of dispersing pollen allergens into even smaller fractions.
Cigarette smoke, perfume, aerosol sprays, motor discharge, insecticides as well as industrial pollutants act as ‘irritant triggers’ that may lead to an allergic reaction.
Those who only suffer from an allergy due to pollution can experience itchiness, scratchy throat, runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. But for those who suffer from other airborne allergies, especially pollen, the symptoms may intensify and might require medical assistance.
It is recommended that you wear a disposable face mask, especially while travelling in heavy traffic. Avoid smoky rooms or zones. If you smoke, the ideal way to help those suffering from allergies is to give up. Keep windows closed to prevent pollutants from getting inside and use an AC to clear the air inside your room. Avoid using strong perfumes and ask your friends/family to do the same, especially during times when those suffering are most likely to be hypersensitive. You can also opt for non-sedative antihistamines like Fexofenadine, Loratadine, etc. to treat your allergy, but kindly consult your doctor for the right prescription.