The air you breathe contains lots of different particles that can trigger asthma symptoms [Asthma Triggers].
Asthma and air pollution are related to each other.
Air pollution triggers asthma and bring on breathing problems.
There are different types of air pollution that triggers your asthma.
Asthma and air pollution causes:
Ozone levels: Ozone triggers a toxic component of smog that makes existing asthma worse. Ozone is produced at ground level when pollution from cars and trucks reacts with oxygen and sunlight.
The protective ozone in the upper atmosphere is different from harmful ozone in the lower atmosphere. Ground level ozone tends to be higher in sunnier climates or during hot, still weather.
Nitrogen oxide: Gas emitted from exhaust pipes and power plants, nitrogen oxide contributes to the formation of ground level ozone and smog. It also reacts with other air pollutants to form small particles that can cause breathing difficulties, especially in asthma patients.
Sulphur dioxide: Sulphur dioxide is a respiratory irritant associated with onset of asthma attacks and it is produced when coal and crude oil are burned. Oil refineries and diesel engines that burn high sulphur fuel release large amount of sulphur dioxide into the air.
Air particles: Wide range of pollutants such as dust, wood smoke, diesel exhaust particles and soot are tiny particles which can trigger asthma.
These particles stay in the lungs and could trigger asthma attacks. Coal fired power plants, factories and diesel vehicles are the major sources of air particle pollution. [Recognizing Your Asthma Attack]
Air pollution is faced by everyone. High levels of air pollution can be associated with decreased lung function and more frequent respiratory problems. People are affected by air pollution when they play outdoors, have faster breathing rates and have lungs that are still developing.
Even if you work in chemical free environment, you are still exposed to air pollution. Old structures contain mold spores or cockroaches which are powerful allergens. New carpets release invisible toxic fumes.
Eliminating asthma and air pollution:
Asthma and air pollution can be eliminated by paying attention to pollution levels and planning accordingly when they are going to be high.
Air quality index (AQI) is used to measure levels of air pollutants such as ground level zone, particle pollution, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.
Using color coded system, air quality index indicates when the air quality is dangerous. Air quality index varies from season to season, from day to day and from morning to evening.
When air quality is poor, use air conditioner and stay at home. Avoid spending time in areas where there is lot of traffic for reducing asthma and air pollution.
Improve the quality of air by using air cleaner and avoiding wood fires in your house. Avoid smoking (Asthma and Smoking) in the surrounding areas as it pollutes the air you breathe.
It is your responsibility to control asthma and air pollution by avoiding the places that can trigger asthma and following the medications prescribed by the doctor.