Diwali marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. The lights, the sweets and warmth that the festival brings with it are for all to enjoy.
However, unfortunately as everything has a flip-side, the well meaning celebrations of Diwali can be dangerous for the elderly.
Here are some unwanted side-effects of Diwali that ruin the festival for the elderly:
Last year the amount of Repairable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), which directly affects breathing, shot up five times immediately after Diwali in the National capital, as reported by System of Air quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
The spectacular rise in the air pollution levels though is bad for everyone, especially affects the elderly suffering from asthma, pulmonary diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, common cold, pneumonia and allergic bronchitis.
Moreover, as the cracker smoke contain lead, cadmium and other heavy metals it is particularly bad for the respiratory system.
To prevent the elderly from the ill effects of the pollution, they should be kept away from the concentrated fumes of the crackers. Additional care should be taken for two-three days after Diwali as the smoke remains in the air for sometime after Diwali.
Diwali takes the noise levels up to 115-120db, which during any other festival remains as low as 50-60 db to 90-100db. Increased noise pollution can trigger heart problems by elevating the blood pressure.
Although noise pollution affects everyone, it can be particularly problematic for the elderly. It can cause hypertension and stress while having a negative impact on sleep. Tiredness, headache impaired visual acuity, loss of appetite are also caused by exposure to high levels of noise pollution.
It is advisable for the elderly to wear earplugs to minimise the impact of noise pollution. Also, burning firecrackers outside the house also decreases elderly's exposure to noise pollution.