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How toxic air effects your body and mind

Breathe Delhi Updated: Jan 02, 2016 17:19 IST

Spending just a few minutes in polluted air may cause:

•Eye irritation

•Cough

•Sore throat (pharyngitis)

•Shortness of breath (dyspnoea)

•Headache

•Nausea

•Vomiting

•Conjunctivitis

•Abdominal pain (stomachache)

•Respiratory problems

•Rhinitis (runny nose)

•Bronchitis

•Burning mouth and throat

•Nosebleed (epistaxis)

•Depression

* Insomnia

Long-term exposure to polluted air causes irreversible health damage, which includes:

Damage to lung tissue, decreased lung function

Aggravated asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and/or lung cancer

High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke

Insulin resistance and diabetes

Shortened lifespan

People at most risk

Though the actual risk depends on your current health status, the pollutant type and concentration, and the length of exposure to the polluted air, people at most overall risk are:

•People with heart disease , including coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure

•People lung disease – such as asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

•Pregnant women

•Outdoor workers

•Children under age 14, who have lungs that are still developing

•Athletes or people who are very active outdoors

Source: All India Institute of Medical Sciences; World Health Organisation