For a long, outdoor air pollution has been associated with harmful effects that it is creating on 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 include 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.
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What Is The Relationship Between Asthma and Air Pollution?
Many allergens that are emitted with the emission of the 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 the long run, may lead to the 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 an allergy which is also the reason for low-quality outdoor airs.
In worst cases, prolonged exposure to 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 that outdoor air pollution is actually triggering their asthma attacks.
Experts usually suggest that 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 that 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 the chest with a 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 every one of us who have asthma or other respiratory problems, but it can be highly risky for people such as:
- Old age, especially when they have some other underlying conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, or heart problems
- Young adults or children who have a low immune system and in whom the lungs are still in the developing stage
- People who are allergic and are suffering from problems such as hay fever
5 Tips To Fight with Asthma and Pollution Problems
Sad to reveal that the majority of people who are suffering from asthma, tells that air pollution is one of the most significant factors which triggers the problems and causes severe asthma attacks.
Traffic fumes, smoke, or dust particles that we inhale outdoors are hard to avoid. However precautionary steps can be taken for controlling these conditions.
Here are a few things that 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, they can help greatly in controlling your attacks.
1- First of all it’s good for you to get an idea about when the air pollution is at its highest levels before you plan to go out.
It is 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 pollution in the best possible way.
2- Avoid going out in too hot, cold, and humid conditions. These can be a reason for 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 for 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 a bit more time, but the hassle you take is worth taking as compared to problems you can get afterward.
Do not forget to keep your car windows closed all the time while you are in traffic.
4- Limit you’re 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 well.
It’s good to confirm 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.
It’s 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.