Pollution is one factor that has become increasingly common in exacerbating asthma symptoms among sufferers. Other factors include our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, our lack of exposure to dirt and germs so that we don’t build up immunities, and the like. As with the other factors, pollution can and should be controlled, to ease symptoms. Although steps are being taken to control pollution, there’s still much present in the form of car exhaust, contamination from chemical plants, and cigarette smoke, plus a myriad of other sources.
Children are perhaps most at risk for developing asthma because of exposure to pollution. This is because of their relatively small size when compared to adults. Their lungs are smaller, as are they, so that the pollution affects them more. In other words, they are exposed to the same density of pollution as adults are, but they receive a much greater concentration of it, because they are proportionately smaller than adults. Therefore, if children live in a house where smoking takes place and/or they live in an area that is smog filled, their health problems as a result of this pollution exposure will be much greater than those of the adults around them.
In addition, those who already have asthma may see symptoms getting worse than they used to be. More sufferers are needing visits to the emergency room, whereas previously, they may have simply been able to treat symptoms at home.
Simply put, pollution is an asthma trigger that can and should be reduced. Of course, we as citizens should write our public officials and make sure they keep controls in place to reduce pollution, and put them in a place where more needs to be done. Personally, we can control pollution ourselves by keeping our homes and lives as pollution free as possible, including reducing cigarette smoke and driving cars that have the lowest emissions possible. We can also take public transportation or carpool instead of driving ourselves, alone, in our cars to places we need to go to. Finally, in addition to getting public officials to put “green” power sources into place, such as solar and wind energy, we ourselves can cut down our energy consumption and thus reduce the amount of coal and oil that need to be mined to meet our energy needs. Even though we ourselves are not burning that coal and oil personally, if we use electricity in our homes, we are requiring that power plant that generates our electricity to burn coal to produce it. Therefore, we ourselves are responsible for those coal emissions as well. Therefore, we can take steps now to be prudent with our energy use, including efficient use of lighting and appliances, as well as other energy-saving measures in our homes.
In addition, ask your doctor for measures you can take to keep your own home as pollution-free as possible. In addition to his or her advice, some other methods include commonsensical things, like not smoking in your house and not letting other people smoke there, either. Use air filters in your home to reduce airborne pollutants like dust, pet dander or hair.
Finally, as stated above, drive as little as you can, carpool when you can, and use public transportation. This will cut down on smog from vehicle emissions, which is another major asthma trigger. Since asthma is also helped by exercise, if you suffer from asthma, bicycle or start walking more instead of taking your car for shorter distances. Just watch what results this will produce. Not only will the reduced pollutants in your area improve your asthma, but the exercise will help your symptoms improve as well.