Environmental pollution affects our respiratory system

Recent years have seen a serious increase in asthma development, nowadays it’s the most common disease in the world. It’s referred to chronic respiratory diseases.

Meanwhile, the official website of the World Health Organization, mentions that chronic respiratory diseases are chronic diseases of the airways and other structures of the lungs. One of the most common of these diseases are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension. Millions of people suffer daily from chronic respiratory diseases. According to the World Health Organization, 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma.

bad ecologyAsthma is a plague of our century

Asthma is a chronic disease of the bronchi – the ways air enters the lungs and gets out of them. This is the most common chronic disease among children. The majority of deaths related to asthma, occurs in the countries with a low income. The most significant risk factors for developing asthma are inhaled substances and particles, that may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways.

With the help of special medicine asthma can be controlled. Prevention of asthma triggers can also help to alleviate asthma. Appropriate treatment of asthma can provide a good quality of life.

Asthma is a chronic disease, characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. Their severity and frequency are individual for all people. Asthma symptoms may occur several times a day or a week, some people feel worse during physical activity or at night. During an asthma attack the lining of the bronchioles swells, resulting in a narrowing of the airway and reduction in airflow entering the lungs and out of them. Recurrent asthma symptoms frequently cause sleeplessness, daytime fatigue, reduced activity levels, work and school skips. The mortality rate for asthma is relatively low compared with other chronic diseases.

ecologyInadequate diagnosis or treatment of asthma creates a substantial burden to individuals and families and often restricts individuals’ activities for a lifetime.

The fundamental causes of asthma are not completely understood. The most significant risk factors for developing asthma are genetic predisposition in combination with inhaled substances and particles, which may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways. These are such substances and particles as indoor allergens, air pollution and others.

Other triggers can include cold air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear and physical exercise.

Meanwhile, according to the World Helath Organization, nearly 90% of deaths occur from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in low- and middle-income countries.

The World Helath Organization reports that 65 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a moderate or severe one. Meanwhile, millions of other people have allergic rhinitis and other often diagnosed chronic respiratory diseases.

The purpose of the World Health Organization Programme for the control of chronic respiratory diseases is to support Member States in their efforts to reduce the burden of disease, disability and premature mortality, associated with chronic respiratory diseases and, in particular, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The main risk factors of chronic respiratory diseases are:

  • smoking;
  • indoor air pollution;
  • air pollution;
  • allergens;
  • professional risk factors;
  • vulnerability.

Air pollution increases the risk of asthma for children

child asthmaChildren of mothers who had been exposed to air pollution during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing asthma before the age of 5, according to a new study by researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada). The study examined the role of air pollution in urban areas and the children’s chances for developing asthma. Attention was focused on the major air pollutants – soot, fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.

Particulate air pollutants impact during pregnancy increases asthma development opportunities during the first five years of a child’s life, even in urban areas, with a relatively low level of contamination, as the results showed. In addition, children whose mothers lived close to the highway during pregnancy have a 25% higher risk of developing asthma. It was also stated, that children who had low birth weight, were more susceptible to respiratory effects of air pollution. This risk was increasing with a boost in levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide – the two main exhaust air pollution markers, as the researchers say. This information was recieved after a study of more than 65,000 Canadian children over 10 years..

Thus, these data underline the significant effect of air pollution on children when they are still unborn.