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Lucknow sees spike in patients with respiratory disorders

Lucknow, Nov 17 (IANS) With pollution levels remaining 'dangerously high' and the weather also turning cold, there has been an expected spurt in the number of patients complaining of respiratory disorders.

According to doctors, the condition of those already suffering from respiratory diseases has aggravated considerably this year.

Dr Ved Prakash, head of pulmonary and critical care medicine department at the King George's Medical University (KGMU), said, "Pollutants, like particulate matter PM 2.5 and PM 10, stick to the windpipe and lungs hindering proper respiration. Our immune system gets activated against these foreign objects which results in inflammation.

"In this fight between foreign objects and our immune system, remodelling of our airways takes place which, in the long run, may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), cancer, asthma and other respiratory tract problems."

He said that there was a definite increase in COPD patients. Air pollution, dryness in the air and seasonal shifts are contributing to the growth of virus and bacteria in our respiratory tract, he added.

Dr Ajay Tripathi director of the Lok Bandhu Raj Narain Hospital said doctors have found a considerable rise in the number of respiratory patients just after Diwali.

"From an average of nearly 70 patients a day, the number has gone up to 90 patients a day. Most of these patients already have comorbid conditions," he said.

At TB hospital in Thakurganj, the average number of patients has gone up from an average of 30 to 45. "Most patients complain of breathlessness and burning sensation in the eyes in the morning and evenings. Not only elderly patients, but middle-aged and young people are also visiting us with this problem," said hospital director Dr Anand Gupta.

Dr Manish Shukla, medical superintendent at the BRD Hospital in Mahanagar, said, "Every year we see a surge in the patients of COPD, asthma and bronchitis because of pollution and season change, especially after Diwali. The trend is increasing with each passing year and is particularly high this year."