Harmful Effect of Air Pollution on Health and Asthmatics

Since long, outdoor air pollution has been associated with harmful effects that it is creating on the mankind.

In fact, most of the health issues today are one way or the other, related to air pollution.

When talking about air pollution and allergens, it can be broadly categorized into Gaseous pollutants and Particulate matter (PM).

Gaseous pollutants generally includes harmful gases such as Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide and Sulphur dioxide. These are basically a result of  fossil fuel combustion in power plants, burning of fossil fuels, industrial facilities, trains, ships, etc.

Particulate matter on the other hand includes particles such as dust, pollen, mold, smoke, and dirt.

What Is The Relationship Between Asthma and Air Pollution?

Many allergens that are emitted with the emission of automobile and industrial units are now becoming major problems not only in urban areas but also in smaller rural areas.

These allergens cause many allergic reactions in the upper respiratory tract of humans in which the major health hazards related to these allergic reactions are sneezing and prolonged cough.

Sneezing is the first symptom that the body shows towards allergens. Coughing starts after that when the air pollutants and allergens are regularly inhaled inside the lungs.

This in long run may lead to development of conditions such as Asthma, where the person is not able to breathe properly and requires the help of nasal sprays. In chronic cases it becomes very hard for a person to conduct his/her daily duties with ease.

Reddening of the eyes is the symptom of having allergy which is also the reason of low quality outdoor airs. In worst cases, prolonged exposure to the harmful gases can also lead to cancer of the upper respiratory tract.

How Can You Tell Whether You Are Allergic To Air Pollution

According to a recent air pollution and asthma case study it has been found that many people with frequent asthma symptoms do not know that they are allergic to air pollution OR the outdoor air pollution is actually triggering their asthma attacks.

Experts usually suggest that you if you are dubious about it, you should keep a symptom diary with you to note down the pollution levels you are exposing yourself to and the asthma attacks you are getting.

Surprisingly you will find a pattern between them which can help you get an idea about how the pollution is making your asthma worse slowly and steadily.

Some of the air pollution allergy symptoms (you will see after getting exposed to heavy pollution) which may confirm that you are highly allergic to air pollution are:

  • you cough or wheeze more often
  • you feel tightness in chest with scratchy nose and throat
  • you find yourself more sensitive to asthma triggers and attacks
  • you need to take the inhaler or medicines more often

Who Should Be More Worried?

Air pollution is although a major concern for everyone of us who have asthma or other respiratory problems, but it can be highly risky for people such as:

  • Old aged, especially when they have some other underlying conditions such as COPD, bronchitis or heart problems
  • Young adults or children who have low immune system and in whom the lungs are still in developing stage
  • People who are allergic and are suffering from problems such as hay fever

5 Tips To Fight with Asthma and Pollution Problems

It is sad to reveal that majority of people who are suffering from asthma, tells that air pollution is one of the most significant factor which triggers the problems and causes severe asthma attacks.

Traffic fumes, smoke or dust particles which we inhale outdoors are hard to avoid. However precautionary steps can be taken for controlling these conditions.

Here are few things which can be done to cope up with asthma triggers due to outdoor air pollution. Although these are not the sure shot ways to relieve asthma attacks, but it can help greatly in controlling your attacks.

1- First of all its good for you to get an idea about when the air pollution are at its highest levels, before you plan to go out. Its best for you to plan your outing earlier in the morning when the air quality is better.

Also try to limit your travel during the rush hours, afternoons and evenings when the pollution is highest. This will limit your exposure to the pollution in a best possible way.

2- Avoid going out in too hot, cold and humid conditions. These can be a reason of high pollutants build up along with toxic smog (on high humid and cold days) that can easily irritate your lung linings.

High winds and sudden atmospheric changes can also be a reason of asthma triggers due to high air pollution on these days and should be therefore avoided.

3- When going out it is good to travel through back streets where the pollution is low. It may sometimes take bit more time, but the hassle you take is worth taking as compared to problems you can get afterwards. Do not forget to keep your car windows closed all the time while you are in traffic.

4- Limit your traveling abroad urgently. Try to plan a vacation or a business tour well in advance so that you can manage all your things well and good. Its good to confirm about the pollution levels of the place where you are planning to visit.

5- Above all, your over the counter preventive medicines and best anti allergy medications can prove quite useful when going out and are recommended to be taken every day.

Its best to carry a medicine organizer with alarm especially when you are traveling abroad so that you do not miss a dose and can quickly deal with any type of emergency condition whenever required.

The content, information, product reviews and treatment options found on NewToAsthma.com is for personal reference and educational purposes only. As the contents of this site are not written by a licensed medical practitioner, it should not be viewed as professional medical advice. You should not use it as a substitute for services or diagnosis from a medical professional. If you suspect you may have asthma or any other medical condition, please seek medical assistance immediately.