This year saw a significant increase in heart problems
Mumbai, October, 2014: As one awaits Diwali the festivals of lights, sounds and colors. The slight apprehension remains as to burns people suffer as well as to the noise generated.
“However what is not known is a deafening noise can badly affect the human body and specially lead to heart diseases. This danger remains with both normal healthy people as well as those suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, and hypertension”according to Dr. S.A. Merchant, leading Interventional Cardiologist.
The loud noise from crackers may trigger heart attack in those who have angina (chest pain due to reduced blood supply in the coronary arteries). The sudden shock of a loud blast may shoot up the blood pressure of those with hypertension (high blood pressure) and this may even precipitate a stroke.
While it is difficult to directly point fingers at crackers for causing heart disease in an otherwise healthy person, it is a known fact that noise pollution causes anxiety, which results in stress. Stress increases the level of certain chemicals like catecholamine, steroids and interleukins, which raise blood pressure, serum cholesterol and clotting tendency of blood, all of which increase the potential for heart attack, adds Dr. S.A. Merchant who has seen a steady increase in heart patients due to noise pollution every year. This year was no exception with the noise levels being significantly higher than the last 2 years.
For patients having ischemic heart disease (reduced blood supply due to narrowing of coronary arteries) or who have suffered earlier heart attack and are taking medicines, there is risk of increasing the severity of chest pain and this may even precipitate a fresh heart attack. People who have undergone angioplasty or bypass surgery are somewhat protected from heart attack but still run the risk of rupture of plaque and new blockage.
Those who suffer irregular heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia) may experience an increase of symptoms like palpitation (uncomfortable pounding sensation in chest), dizziness, shortness of breath or sudden loss of consciousness for brief period (black out). For those having serious rhythm disturbances like Ventricular Tachycardia may even suffer from cardiac arrest, where the heart stops pumping and this needs immediate resuscitation to prevent fatal consequences.
For those with heart failure (a condition where the pumping action of the heart is compromised due to underlying heart, lung or kidney condition), the loud sound may increase the heart rate and blood pressure, forcing the heart to pump faster and harder, thereby increasing the load on an already weakened organ and produce symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitation, accumulation of fluid in the body etc. The risk increases when there are repeated blasts of loud crackers in close vicinity, so watch out!
Dr. Merchant, one of the leading cardiologist with regular patients in Maharashtra & Gujarat and now from abroad- Middle East & East Africa specializes in the complete array of heart related problems including- Cardiac Catheterization and Angiography, Coronary Angioplasty with drug eluting stent, Valvuloplasties and TAVI ( Transfemoral Aortic Valve Implant), Carotid, renal and peripheral below knee stenting,, Permanent pacemaker implant and arrhythmia management, Soluble Scaffolding for Complex Coronary Artery Disease.
“Please take these warnings seriously”, warns Dr. S.A. Merchant who has seen younger persons being affected by heart problems as well as an increase among women, who were earlier considered safe.” CCI Newswire