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'Asthma & the Environment' Quiz - Did you Get the Answers Right?

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By Amalia Helen on May, 6 2021

For World Asthma Day on the 5th May, we decided to test the public's knowledge about the environmental connection to asthma. Here we reveal the answers if you haven't taken the test yet - why not take the quiz here first!

Asthma & the Environment: Quiz Answers

1. Air Pollution Exposure Contributes to Asthma Development  -  True or False?

Correct Answer: True

The effect of air pollution on the development of asthma has been studied for many years and increasingly, evidence shows that both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure can contribute to asthma development. 

In 2015, European research found that children born in communities that were more polluted on average were more likely to develop asthma than other children -  especially from 4 years old onwards. 

Research published by the EPA also states that:

a) Children exposed to outdoor coarse particulate matter (PM10-2.5), are more likely to develop asthma and need emergency room or hospital treatment for it. 

b) Short-term and long-term exposures to high levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and PM 2.5 have been associated with alterations to two specific genes, and that those alterations were significantly associated with asthma. 

2. It's More Dangerous for Asthma Sufferers to Exercise Outside than Indoors - True, False, or Depends?

Correct Answer: Depends

Although there may be known environmental triggers for asthma sufferers outdoors - many of these triggers can also exist indoors. As air quality changes rapidly according to many different factors and our behavior, regular environmental monitoring offers one of the best options for asthma sufferers looking to know when and where it is safest to exercise. You can use our guide to learn more about the connection between indoor and outdoor air quality.

3. What Type of Weather Makes Asthma Symptoms Worse? - Hot, Humid, Cold, Rainy, Stormy, All of Them?

Correct Answer: All of Them

Weather will definitely impact the symptoms asthma sufferers feel but it’s often a matter of a complex interplay between different factors, rather than a simple choice between ‘hot’, ‘cold’ or ‘stormy’.

For example, when the weather is hot, this could be accompanied by dry and dusty weather which could aggravate symptoms. For pollen-allergic asthma sufferers, rain can have the effect of easing symptoms by helping to wash pollen away. However, if it’s a sudden downpour and the right conditions are in place, pollen that’s already in the air can actually be broken apart, causing the allergenic substance to be released and increasing the likelihood of inhalation by individuals. There’s a great summary here from WebMD & you can also learn more about the phenomena of ‘thunderstorm asthma’ here.

4. Asthma Sufferers are More Likely to Have Seasonal Allergies - True, Don't Know, or False?

Correct Answer: True

Allergic Rhinitis is very common among asthma sufferers - affecting almost 80% of the population (source). Further, Allergic Rhinitis is also associated with both an increased risk of asthma development and asthma severity. For this reason, it’s very important for the majority of asthma sufferers to keep up to date with pollen levels in addition to air quality.

5. Asthma Symptom Triggers Vary According to Person - True, Don't Know or False?

Correct Answer: True

Although asthma sufferers may have triggers in common, and some exposures aren’t good for anyone (like cigarette smoke), because individual allergy often plays such a common role in asthma exacerbation, the severity and reactions will often vary considerably according to the individual person. For example, it’s very possible that one asthma sufferer will be sensitive to one type of pollen and not another. We explore the unpredictable and personal nature of pollen allergy in more detail here. 

 

Environmental Data for Precision Medicine

 

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