Health issues related to noise, chemical and soil pollution can be resolved, provided we maintain hygiene and take appropriate medication at the right time.
Industrialisation has led to three major types of pollutions: noise, chemical, and soil pollution. According to a 2007 estimate by World Health Organisation, almost six per cent people in India suffer from hearing loss. In the recent times we have also witnessed a sharp increase in chemical pollution due to excessive use of insecticides and pesticides, vehicular traffic, and a range of human activities, adversely affecting our environment, particularly air, water, and soil. Pollution and exposure to pollutants has become inevitable, however, with certain precautions and apt medical intervention we can stay healthy.
Automobiles, heavy industries, air planes, loud speakers and many such sources create excessive noise around us. Constant buzzing and whistling sounds of machines may lead to further prolonged effects like deafness or temporary or permanent hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to noise pollution leads to high blood pressure, increased heart rate, giddiness and fatigue. However, these ill effects of noise pollution can be avoided by using ear plugs while being exposed to high-decibel noise. Ultimately, educating the public and spreading awareness about the ill-effects of noise pollution can improve the conditions in general.
A 27-year-old, who started his recent job in a factory, faced constant giddiness and fatigue. He was working in a very noisy workplace. His blood pressure was noted at 170/100 mmHg at the clinic. To help him I prescribed some medicines and advised him to use ear plugs at the workplace. I also advised him to practice regular meditation at home. He is monitored regularly for blood pressure, however, he is leading a much better life now.
From organic pollutants to chemical compounds, that travel miles through air or from the surrounding areas may affect us. High levels of such persistent organic pollutants may lead to infertility, impaired cognitive function and endocrine disruption. Exposure to chemical pollution would lead to respiratory tract infections, fatigue, headache and inability to concentrate and irritability. At times, these problems can be due to heavy metal poisoning as well.
A lady visited my clinic with complaints of dry and scaly skin on the palms, much like her colleagues. Coming in contact with certain chemicals that were used for cleaning at her workplace caused the dry and scaly palms. I prescribed her Graphites 30CH and Calendula ointment. After a follow up for six months, she was cured.
A 34-year-old person complained of his cough and sudden hoarseness in the voice. He refrained himself from consuming any kinds of oily or cold food; he thought these foods would worsen his condition. In reality, his exposure to fumes and aluminium in his factory lead to the cough. I prescribed him Phosphorous and advised him to use a mask while working. After taking the precautionary measures and regular medicines, his cough gradually reduced and following the dosage for three months, he was symptom free.
The ever increasing use of pesticides and insecticides in the agriculture, pathogens from the human faeces, and pathogens like amoeba and helminths lead to soil pollution, affecting us through direct contact or indirectly, through the food and the water we consume. Amoebiasis, worm infestations and other parasitic infections are common health issues due to soil pollution; other diseases include ‘plumbism’ (due to lead poisoning), Arsenicosis (happens due to elevated levels of arsenic in the body), cancer, and neuromuscular disorders. Helminthiasis or worm infestation can lead to the actual passage of worms through the stools, boring of nose and itching of the anus. Children get affected and present with complaints such as irritated behaviour and white patches on their skin. Do not worry; homoeopathic remedies like Cina, Chenopodium and Spigelia are there to resolve the issue. Like helminths, amoebiasis is another problem. The symptoms are watery stools or passage of blood via stools, abdominal pain and severe pain in the abdomen prior to stools. Homoeopathic medicines like Nux-Vom, Merc Sol are useful in case of amoebiasis. As a primary guard against soil-pollution-related diseases, we must wash our hands clean after gardening and each time before preparing and having each meal.
A 5-year-old child visited my clinic with abdominal pain and watery stools. He neither had fever nor any other symptom. His clinical history led to the diagnosis of amoebiasis. I prescribed him Merc Sol 200CH for three days, and he was cured with the medicines.
A 12-year-old girl came to my clinic with similar complaint: repeated abdominal pain. On examination, her gums showed a blue line that indicated the presence of lead in her body. She underwent blood tests which showed presence of lead. She was then prescribed Alumina based on her clinical history; and after regular examination for about a year, she now remains symptom free.
1. Lifestyle Ailments and Homoeopathy by Dr Farokh Master.
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5. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine by Sir TInsley Harrison