How the air we are breathing can affect our health

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Health & Fitness

 

You would be amazed how much of an impact the air you are breathing can have upon your health. Usually we do not pay enough attention to what’s in the composition of the air in our environment. That’s why pulmonary affections simply show up without any explanation and we need to follow stressful, invasive treatments. The air quality matters more than we think and checking from time to time what we are inhaling might save us an appointment with our doctor later.

If you have no clue regarding what measures should you take for improving the environmental conditions you are living in, you should keep reading. Air pollution triggers symptoms that we usually tend to ignore or blame it on something else, but once you start considering that bad quality air can be a damaging factor too, you’ll start paying more attention to it. If you happen to experience things such as: headaches and anxiety (central nervous system affections), irritation of the eyes, noise or throat (pulmonary and breathing problems; respiratory system affections), liver problems, spleen problems, cardiovascular diseases or reproductive system problems then you might be exposed to a toxic air environment. Here’s what you might want to know about what problems the air quality in your living space can cause:

Asthma

Asthma is a type of condition where the airways in your pulmonary system get inflamed and remain like this always When something triggers the disease more than its initial state the airways become swollen and the muscles get very tight around them causing a difficulty in the air circulation in and out of the airways. This is why asthmatic people face symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or wheezing and pain in the chest. Asthma is usually caused by inhaling gases, dust or any other harmful substance that can be found in the air. The only thing you can do if you are suffering from asthma is diagnosing it properly, keep track of the complication and make sure you are taking your medication correctly. It is not a disease that can be cured, so you need to get used to its symptoms for the rest of your life. Although, you need to check the air quality in your environment often. For instance, try air quality testing in Toronto, where services like these are offered. See what it’s all about and don’t forget to manage your condition properly.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder

COPD or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder/disease is an affection that can cause breathlessness, frequent coughing both with and without sputum, tightness in the chest or wheezing. The symptoms are similar to asthma. Both diseases affect many people and they are causing major loss of pulmonary system functions if not treated and diagnosed early enough. Likewise, COPD is caused by bad environmental air quality. You can breathe in pollutants of any kind like second hand smoke or direct-action smoke (Tabaco), fumes, chemical substances in the air or dust. This is why air checking needs to be done permanently. While asthma is something you can develop at a very young age due to genetics too, COPD is fully gained through time due to bad influences from the surroundings. Protecting your lungs means recurring appointments with your doctor and staying away from damaging factors and long exposure to pollution. Also, the air quality in your living space should be improved as soon as possible.

Lung cancer or mesothelioma

Any type of cancer is scary so hearing about another type you are exposed to might be a little bit stressful. Mesothelioma is one of the most dangerous types of cancer, regarding that most cancer deaths are due to it. Lung cancer spreads faster than the other types and the treatment of it consists of both surgery and chemotherapy. There are chances for it to be inoperable which makes the surviving chances drop. It is triggered both by genetic factors and environmental factors. It can show up in any area in your lung and is difficult to operate. The risks are higher if you are a smoker. Lung cancer has recently surpassed breast cancer and is now the most known type of cancer.

Pneumonia

Long term exposure to factors such as pollution can cause pneumonia, which is usually transmitted by community acquired viruses through air. The symptoms you may be experiencing when suffering from pneumonia include coughing with greenish or yellow mucus, followed by bloody mucus in extreme cases, fever, chills, shaking and shortness of breath. Also, the patient may experience chest pain, headaches, clammy skin and loss of appetite. Depending on its type, pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, mycoplasmas or other agents such as fungi or dust in the air. As seen before, smoking can be dangerous in such cases and it should be avoided while suffering from this affection or any other lung disease.

Bronchitis

Besides the usual symptoms like coughing, sputum mucus or shortness of breath, bronchitis can produce fatigue, slight fever and discomfort in the chest area. Acute bronchitis is very similar to a common cold, the difference being that its symptoms last for several weeks compared to only one week for a cold. It is manly caused by viruses so it’s not treatable with antibiotics. Inhaling smoke either actively or passively causes bronchitis, as well as dust or toxic gases in the environment.

Cardiovascular problems

The heart and the blood vessels can be affected by pollution too. Heart attacks or ischemic strokes are common with people exposed to air contamination. Blockages in the arteries can be caused by pulmonary affections due to the lack of oxygen. Heart valve problems imply a smaller opening for blood to reach the heart as it should. When the valves lose their function to open or close properly it can alter the blood circulation, resulting in complications. Any cardiovascular problem can be treated both with surgery and medication. Make sure you understand the risks of such affections and make the correct correlations between them and air pollution. Genetic factors can matter too.