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How to Protect Your Lungs from Summer Pollution?

Summer is here, with its heat waves, burning temperatures, and pollution. You can hardly imagine going out without taking preventive measures such as covering your body properly and keeping a water bottle with you. Summers are fun, but not at this temperature where everything seems burning and the environment is entirely polluted. You all need to understand that a little negligence in this climate can lead to severe health problems, which can cause you to suffer a lot.  Direct exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer, excessive tanning, and wrinkling, whereas pollution can directly affect the lungs and cause various lung diseases.  However, the question is how to beat the heat along with this irritating pollution and stay healthy during hot summers. Here is the answer! This article is about the preventive measures and steps you can take when you’re outside or away from your home. First, make yourself aware of the types of summer pollution.

Understanding Summer Pollution

Types of Pollutants

  • Ground-Level Ozone
Ground-level Ozone, also known as bad ozone, is a type of air pollutant that forms closer to the earth’s surface. Don’t get mistaken for the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, which protects us from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Ground-level ozone is formed by the pollutants emitted by automobiles and sunlight. It can also be understood as a mixture of different chemicals in the air when sunlight passes through them. When you inhale this ground-level ozone, it irritates your lungs, causing difficulty in breathing or heavy breathing. This can be more troublesome for people with asthma.
  • Particulate Matter
Particulate matter is an air pollutant formed by tiny dust particles and water droplets suspended in the air. These dust particles can come from vehicle exhaust, construction sites, industrial emissions, and wildfires.  You should know that particulate matter has two different sizes. Smaller particles like PM2.5 (having a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers)can enter your lungs or bloodstream when you breathe them in, causing serious respiratory problems.  On the other hand, Larger particles like PM10 (having a diameter of less than 10 micrometers) can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat but do not enter into your lungs or bloodstream.

Sources of Summer Pollution

  • Vehicle Emissions
Today, the majority of pollution is caused by particles and smoke released by vehicles. Though Natural Gas vehicles are in high demand, the percentage of fuel-based automobiles is still higher.  During summers, there is a partial increase in outside activities due to vacations, outdoor activities, etc. This increases the pollution level in the summer season.
  • Industrial Activities
Industrial activities involve several processes carried out by power plants, refineries, and other facilities. This process involves activities like the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, etc. The pollutants released from all these processes cause excessive pollution near industrial areas.  During summers, since there is excessive demand for various products, industries try to double their production to meet the demands, leading to an increase in pollution.
  • Wildfires
Wildfires are accidental fires caused by spontaneous combustion, campfires, discarded cigarettes, or lightning in forests, grasslands, and wilderness areas. When vegetation burns, it releases ash, smoke, and other pollutants into the air, causing excessive pollution. Identifying Symptoms of Lung Damage

Short-Term Effects

  • Coughing and Weezing
If you are exposed to pollution for a short period, you may feel irritation in your airways because of particulate matter and ozone, leading to coughing and wheezing. These symptoms may occur shortly after exposure to polluted air.
  • Shortness of Breadth
Breathing in polluted air often reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the lungs, which causes shortness of breath. This sensation of breathlessness may occur during physical activity or even at rest. This is most common in those with compromised lung function. 

Long-Term Effect

  • Chronic Respiratory Conditions
Continuous and prolonged exposure to air pollution over months or years can lead to chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema.  The continuous entry of dust particles can harm the airways badly, leading to inflammation and scarring and reduced lung function over time. 
  • Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
If you are exposed to polluted air for a long period, then there is a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, etc.  Particulate matter (PM2.5) can enter your bloodstream and lungs, causing inflammation, oxidative stress, and the formation of plaques in the arteries. Suppose you are facing any symptoms like this. In that case, it is advised you visit the best multi-specialty hospital in Lucknow, where you can get a consultation from top pulmonologists on how to overcome the disease and what is the process by which you can cure the same. 

Tips for Protecting Your Lungs

  • Monitor Air Quality Index (AQI) Levels
Check the Air Quality Index regularly to stay informed about your city’s current air pollution level. By being aware of the pollution level, you can decide when to go outside and when to stay indoors.
  • Limit Outdoor Activities During Peak Pollution Hours
If you know about the peak pollution hours in your city, you can limit your outdoor activities during that period. For example, you cannot go to the gym or play in areas with high pollution.
  • Use Air Purifiers and Filters Indoors
If you are concerned about the air quality in your home, you can try using air purifiers and filters to get fresh and pure air, at least inside your home. High-quality air purifiers such as HEPA  (High-efficiency particulate air ) can be installed to remove airborne, pollutants such as dust particles, pollen, and smoke.
  • Wear masks
It is not always possible to stay home during peak pollution hours. You can limit your outdoor activities, but cannot stop it. So, you are advised to wear a mask when you step outside for work. Masks protect harmful particles from entering your respiratory system. Incorporating Lung Health into Your Summer Routine. 
  • Outdoor Exercise Precautions
If you like exercising outdoors, you must be very careful when stepping outside. Make sure you wear a mask or perform exercise in greenery, such as in parks or gardens. Choose early morning or late evening hours for exercising because the air quality is comparatively better and the temperature is cooler. 
  • Proper Hydration Strategies
Hydration is really important for each one of us. To support your overall well-being and lung health, you need to maintain a proper habit of drinking water. Being hydrated does not mean consuming caffeine or alcohol, avoid drinking those beverages, as they can cause more problems for your health.
  • Protective Clothing and Accessories
It is always advised to properly cover your chest, stomach, and eyes from direct exposure to the sun and pollutants. Dress properly so that none of your body parts are exposed to the sun, causing you harm. 


It is important to remember that we cannot control the atmosphere’s temperature. However, we can take steps to maintain our health and well-being. By following simple preventative measures, we can ensure our lungs remain healthy even during the hot summer months. The tips mentioned above are just a few examples of what we can do to achieve this goal.

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