When we breathe polluted air, the pollutants enter deep into the lungs. This can cause serious problems to the respiratory system such as asthma, lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
- Asthma: It is a chronic disorder of the lungs, which occurs due to the inflammation and narrowing of the airways. It causes tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. It is one of the triggers that exacerbate asthma. Common air pollutants that trigger asthma are ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): In this condition air passage gets narrow. It is caused by exposure to pollutants, which generate inflammation. Exposure to air pollutants has a great role in causing this disorder.
- Lung Cancer: It is one of the most common cancers. It can affect both men and women. There are several factors that increase the risk of this disease. Air pollution is also among those factors.
Every individual reacts differently to air pollution. Some people are more affected by it than others. Air pollution is more dangerous for people who suffer from lung diseases such as asthma or COPD. Aged people, children, and infants also face a higher risk of getting affected by air pollution. On exposure to high levels of pollution even healthy individuals can suffer symptoms associated with lung problems.
Exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause immediate health conditions such as:
- exacerbated cardiovascular and respiratory problems
- increased strain to heart and lungs
- injured cells in the respiratory system
Continuing exposure to air pollution can cause permanent health problems such as:
- Speed up the aging of lungs
- reduced lung function
- the occurrence of disorders including asthma and emphysema
Ways to Prevent the Harmful Effects of Air Pollution:
If the pollution levels in your area are high then you will have a high risk of becoming sick. You must follow the following measures to combat air pollution affects:
- Avoid outdoor exercise. Even though exercise has many benefits but if you suffer from a lung problem then try to do it indoors in a well-ventilated area.
- Avoid spending time in highly polluted spots. Stay away from main roads and other areas where pollution is comparatively high.
- Try to reach your workplace or school bit earlier before the rush hours when pollution levels can be much higher.
- If you have asthma, then use the preventer inhaler in routine.
- Consult your doctor immediately in case your feel wheezy or coughing from walking outside.