Mercury drops in Delhi, leads to rise in respiratory ailments
Delhi has witnessed a sudden dip in the mercury, leading to a rise in respiratory ailments, high blood pressure and strokes.
New Delhi, December 26, 2015 | UPDATED 08:44 IST
In the last two days, Delhi has witnessed a sudden dip in the mercury, leading to a rise in respiratory ailments, high blood pressure and strokes.
On Friday, the minimum temperature was recorded at 5.5 degree Celsius, two notches below the season's average. The maximum temperature was recorded at 19.2 degree Celsius, two notches below the normal.
Dr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman & Head of department, Cardiology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said, "Winters and dipping mercury brings down core body temperature. So, body tries to conserve heat by shrinking blood vessels, resulting into high blood pressure and heart's oxygen requirement. Thus high BP and heart attacks are common in cold weather, more so in elderly where body's adaptive mechanism is weak."
It is recommended to avoid going out in extreme cold places. According to the experts, it is also advised to cover up the body properly and take adequate BP and heart medications for those who are already suffering from heart related ailments.
"I have witnessed a spurt in cardiac cases in the last few days. While in the last 2-3 years, the cases have been high amongst the young. But this year, we have seen more cases amongst the elderly. At our hospital, we are getting approximately five-six heart attack cases every other day in the past week and at least 80 per cent of them have been amongst the 60+ age bracket," Dr.Naveen Bhamri, Cardiologist, Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, told Mail Today.
Some precautions that doctors have suggested for the elderly include avoiding early morning and late evening walks. Most commonly, heart attack cases are seen in winter between 3am-7am. The elderly should only step out for walks in the morning once the sun has risen. Sudden exposure to the extreme cold should be avoided.
"Studies have shown that deaths and hospitalisations for heart disease and stroke increase more than 50 per cent in winter. Inhaling very cold air through your mouth chills your coronary arteries, which then constrict," says Dr Mukesh Goel, head of department, Cardiac Surgery, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad.
During winter, a large number of children consult doctors with pain in their ears, cough and heavy chest congestion.
"Having cold or allergy can block the Eustachian tube, the narrow passage connecting the nasal area with the ear, due to inflammation under severe cold conditions," Dr Lalit Mohan Parashar, ENT specialist, Apollo Spectra Hospitals, told Mail Today.