Asthma is a huge problem in today's society.
+Affects 235 million people worldwide, over 7 million in the US alone (Medical Express)
+One of the most underdiagnosed and undertreated diseases (WHO)
+The most common chronic disease among children (WHO)
+Has led to 10 million missed school days, 14 million missed work days, and 2 million emergency room visits each year (CDC)
+Has cost the US $2.2 billion annually, in child-related cases alone (Medical Express)
We must ask ourselves why so many people are affected by this chronic disease, and how we can help combat it. More than 20 years of intensive research has shown a correlation between air pollution and asthma.
Air pollution has a huge impact on instances of asthma. Chemicals such as ozone, sulfur dioxides, and nitrogen dioxides can induce asthma symptoms in healthy individuals and exacerbate symptoms in asthmatic individuals. Particulate matter is an even bigger problem because the particles get inhaled and attach themselves to the already inflamed lungs, making matters worse. Pregnant women, young children, and the elderly are especially at risk. Studies have shown that children of women who are exposed to air pollution in their second trimester are more likely to develop asthma than those who have not been exposed. The same is true for young children who have been exposed to air pollution directly. Aged individuals often have trouble breathing as they get on in years, and bad air quality only makes it worse.
To avoid these effects of air pollution, at risk groups should not live near major roadways if they can help it, avoid walking or doing other physical activity near high traffic areas, and monitor the local air quality on a daily basis. Apps like BreezoMeter can tell people what the air quality is and the potential risk it poses to them. BreezoMeter even tells you what steps to take to protect yourself at different levels of air pollution. So if the air is bad, stay indoors with the A/C on. BreezoMeter will tell you when it’s safe to go outside again.