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Together we can help people with asthma breathe easy.

Together we can help people with asthma breathe easy.

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The impact of air pollution on respiratory health of those affected by Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects the lungs which can cause symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing – making it difficult to breathe. With over 5.4 million people living with Asthma in the United Kingdom, this is certainly a widely prevalent medical condition, with potentially severe and life-threatening implications if not adequately controlled or managed.

Air pollution is any chemical, physical, or biological factor that contaminates the indoor or outdoor environment and alters the natural properties of the atmosphere. Every year air pollution kills around 2,500 people in Scotland. Everybody’s asthma is distinct, although air pollution is an incredibly common trigger for potentially life-threatening acute asthma attacks. According to scientific studies, excessive exposure to air pollution can increase the likelihood of developing asthma, highlighting the significant impact that air pollution can have personally and cross-generationally.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation, Scotland’s only dedicated Asthma Charity, provides free evidence-based health information, confidential advice, and support to people with Asthma, their families, carers, and friends across Scotland. Commenting on the topic, Rafsan Chowdhury, Health Promotion Manager, said “More needs to be done in order to raise awareness on the impact air pollution can have on the daily lives of Asthmatics. With global warming on the rise, discussing this is becoming ever increasingly important, and due to this we are working on our “Love is in the Air” campaign from May to July, with the hope to grow public discussion on the matter and provide educational and informative public engagement events.”

Below are some top asthma tips in preparation for days with excess air pollution:

  • Maintain your preventer regimen to help you manage with pollution and other triggers.
  • Carry your relief inhaler with you at all times so you can promptly address any symptoms.
  • Use DEFRA’s UK-wide predictions or a weather app to check the pollution forecast in your location.
  • Avoid high-pollution areas such as main roads, intersections, bus terminals, and parking lots as much as possible. If possible, get out before the pollution levels have a chance to rise.
  • If you’re experiencing symptoms three or more times a week, whether from pollution or something else, see your doctor.
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