New Delhi: There is no escaping outdoor pollution. Especially for people living in a country that has been repeatedly ranked as one of the most polluted in the world in recent years. Not only during winters and the infamous smog in its metro cities, through all seasons, and in fact right through the year and in most parts of the country, people are continuously and directly exposed to some of the most harmful air pollutants present in the environment. As a result and it is no surprise that people are perpetually susceptible to a range of airway conditions including asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis.
However, people don’t need to continue to suffer. At a time when state-of-the-art smart technologies are turning out smart healthcare products on a regular basis, there are devices to be picked out and choices to be made.
Airway diseases affect the tubes
While each airway disease is different in nature, implications, and the treatment regimen required for it, they all have some common symptoms. However, most notably, they typically involve and affect the tubes or airways that carry oxygen and other gases into and out of the lungs.(1) These diseases usually occur as a result of the narrowing or obstructing of the airways which in turn leads to airflow limitation, airway inflammation, and even hyperresponsiveness of the airways.(2)
Pollution causes as well as aggravates airway diseases
There is enough research available to show that air pollution doesn’t only induce the onset but also exacerbates airway diseases which may lead to an increase in respiratory morbidity and in some cases even respiratory mortality. Air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and ozone along with biological pathogens such as viruses and bacteria can enter the airway and through it reach the bloodstream posing a mortal threat to the life of the person. So, while air pollution has been known to induce the onset of asthma, it aggravates the conditions of COPD and bronchiectasis patients.(3)
The enormous burden of airway diseases
According to an estimate by Lancet, India has over 9 crore people who suffer from obstructive airway diseases today.(4) According to another survey, of the total global disability-adjusted life years or DALYs due to chronic respiratory diseases in 2016, a whopping 32% had occurred in India.(5) In another disturbing statistic, while India has 12% of the global asthma burden, a shockingly disproportionate 42% of asthma deaths in the world occur in the country.(6)
Modern smart devices ward off and contain the airway diseases
Keeping in mind the inevitability of the pollution that we all have to face particularly in terms of obstructing airways and the resultant conditions, there are sophisticated devices available today that address issues directly related to the airways. For instance, there is a first-of-its-kind vitalizer device, essentially a processor that employs a patent-protected process – replicating the natural principle of photosynthesis – and transforms the low-energy and polluted ambient atmosphere into clean, high-energy breathing air. The device releases air which is highly charged with oxygen molecules in its simplest and highly reactive ionic form something which our body is able to absorb in no time. With just 20-30 minutes of a breathing session, not only does the blockage of airways gets resolved instantly, the body gets replenished with a fresh and ample amount of oxygen or energy.
Furthermore, given the connection between obstruction or clearing of air passage and the strength of our respiratory muscles, there is another smart respiratory muscle training device that seeks to strengthen our respiratory muscles. Similar to how we train the regular upper and lower limb muscles in the gym, the device using resistance wheels exposes the diaphragm and other breathing muscles to adjustable but restricted airflow which effectively gives resistance training to the breathing muscles and thereby strengthens them.
Then there is a range of other devices fixing airway issues including endotracheal tube and laryngeal mask airways (LMAs) Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) devices to High-Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO) and Oral High-Frequency Oscillation (OHFO) devices to Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) devices. Given the connection between airway disorders and cardio-pulmonary conditions, there is a device that even helps with the constant monitoring of cardiac arrhythmias, an extremely dangerous heart condition.
Therefore, if we can’t avoid pollution, we can definitely alleviate its ill effects. And since most of these devices are ‘smart’ and networked offering personalized assistance, we could become smart users!
(30 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740163/; https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/52/1/1702557