Doctors reveal the impact of air pollution on our mental health

Doctors reveal the impact of air pollution on our mental health

According to fitness experts, air pollution can not only affect respiratory problems, but it can also seriously affect mental health. As high pollution levels lead to toxic air quality in several northern Indian cities, including the national capital New Delhi, a poor AQI is beginning to cause irreversible damage to health.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Senior Psychiatrist and Founder of Manasthali, insisted, “Anything that impacts physical health also impacts mental health. With the increase in pollution in the environment, a number of studies have been conducted which show the direct and indirect impact of pollutants on mental well-being. The stress of physical issues like breathing problems, sleep disturbances, haze in the air that cuts out light that impacts the secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain, and the direct biological impact of pollutants on the nervous system make part of the underlying pathogenesis. This showed an increased incidence of anxiety, depression and personality disorders as well as a decrease in stress tolerance.

Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder and Director of Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, revealed, “Toxic air pollutants cause damage to respiratory organs and affect mental health by increasing anxiety and depression. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution refers to any physical, chemical or biological change in the air that may become contaminated with harmful gases, dust and smoke that significantly affect people. plants, animals and humans. These air pollutants can cause serious neurocognitive effects, ranging from behavioral variations to neurodegenerative disorders, which can ultimately have devastating effects on mental health. Pollution particles can pass from the lungs to the blood and, in some cases, travel up the axon of the olfactory nerve to the brain.

Elaborating on the same topic, Dr. Sankalp Surya Mohan, Senior Neurology Consultant at Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, said, “High amounts of air pollution can lead to inflammation of tissues and blood vessels, which can have harmful psychological effects and even despair some people. or make them impulsive. Anxiety and changes in mood, cognition and behavior are examples of psychiatric symptoms that can result from the psychological and toxic impacts of air pollution. Air pollutants are associated with increased psychiatric hospitalizations, emergency calls and behavioral changes as well as decreased psychological well-being.

Pointing out that many dangerous contaminants interfere with the ability of the nervous system to develop and function normally in adulthood, he said: “Even though symptoms are often subtle or slow to appear, they may serve as a more accurate predictor of dangerous consequences than death statistics or cancer rates. Psychological health can be indirectly affected by other physiological symptoms of air pollution, such as asthma. Multiple chemical sensitivity and sick building syndrome are mental and toxicological illnesses respectively to mitigate the effects of environmental stress.

The health expert explained: “Due to their ease of entry into the bloodstream and their ability to easily travel through the body to the brain, particles equal to or less than 2.5 microns in diameter exhibit a extremely serious danger.Carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides (SOx), and nitrogen oxides (NOx), in addition to PM 2.5 and below, can irritate blood vessels and lead to neuro-inflammation by rupturing the blood-brain barrier, a thin, sensitive membrane that protects the brain from toxins. , Impulse Control Disorder (IAD), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can all be caused by toxic compounds in the brain Stay indoors if possible When going out, wear a mask Avoid congested areas and take public transit instead.

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