Experts warn of health risks as weather changes from scorching heat to rainy days, ET HealthWorld


Nagpur: There is a dramatic change in the weather conditions in Vidarbha. Some days it experiences a severe heat wave and the temperature reaches 42 degrees Celsius. On other days, there are heavy rains and cloudy skies, causing minimum temperatures to drop to 30 °C or even lower. While the relief from the heat is welcome, citizens are at risk of health hazards due to this sudden and frequent change in weather. TOI spoke to doctors who explained how this rapid change in temperature can put pressure on the heart system, lungs, immune system and who needs extra care.

Pulmonologist Dr Akash Balki said, “The current weather conditions have led to an increase in autoimmune health conditions like asthma, COPD, arthritis, which has led to an increase in respiratory infections.”

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“People with asthma or allergies should be especially cautious. Attacks may be triggered by changes in humidity and potentially an increase in dust and pollen. “Patients are advised to keep their inhalers readily available and to consult a doctor if they experience difficulty breathing.”

Cardiologist Dr. Amar Amale said that due to the current weather patterns, the condition of patients with pre-existing heart disease may worsen and they may have to go to ICU. “There has also been a sharp increase in patients in OPD with cough and difficulty in breathing,” he said.

“We recommend vaccination to avoid respiratory infections. “Influenza vaccination once a year and pneumococcal vaccination once every 5 years are recommended for all ages and high-risk patients.”

Infectious disease expert Dr. Nitin Shinde also shared similar views. “Drastic changes in weather can weaken the immune system, making a person more susceptible to common illnesses like cold and flu. The vaccine works well, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and adults with pre-existing health problems,” he said.

Dr. Shinde also suggested general preventive measures to avoid infection. “Maintaining good hygiene, washing hands frequently and getting adequate sleep are essential to boost the body's defense mechanisms,” he said.

Dr Anita Patil, a general practitioner, stressed the importance of precautions. “It is important to stay hydrated during these changes. Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty. Additionally, avoid strenuous activity during peak heat hours and wear loose, cotton clothing to allow your body to regulate its temperature,” she said.

However, physical trainer Alan Morde stressed the importance of maintaining physical activity. “You may be tempted to skip your workout due to rainy and cloudy weather, but avoid slacking off. Follow your exercise program and stay healthy irrespective of the weather conditions,” he said.

Clinical dietitian Priti Patel cautions against neglecting your diet during the fluctuating weather. He said, “People make disturbances in their diet chart and stop following the schedule citing the changed weather as the reason.” He said that doing so can disturb the health cycle.

  • Published on May 13, 2024 at 06:54 am IST

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