Winter is here and I cannot help but think of poor air quality getting worse every day. I miss the days when I did not need to check the Air Quality Index before leaving the house, and not being unable to see things clearly within the proximity of 2 feet. The sad part is that it does not just stop here.
Rising data that shows proximity to outdoor air contaminants can also contribute to the higher rates of lung cancer and causes of asthma, spontaneous pneumothorax, lung aging, and allergies. Hence, if you find yourself having some trouble breathing, have yourself examined immediately by a pulmonologist. You can consult a licensed Pulmonologist in Lahore, some of whom are the best in the country!
Here is a brief description of the effects of air pollution and the five major diseases caused by it. Some of them include lung cancer, asthma, spontaneous pneumothorax, the aging lung, and respiratory allergies.
While long-term exposure to cigarette smoke is the most common cause of lung cancer, an additional 10-25 percent of cases develop in non-smokers globally. In addition, extensive work has shown even further results to justify the theory that lung cancer is also related to poor air quality. Research informs us that NO2 created a 14 percent increase in lung cancer with exposure to each 10 ppb addition. Exposure to levels higher than 30 ppb led to a rise of 30 percent.
Studies show there is a connection between asthma and exposure to environmental toxins. Air pollution includes chemicals that are poisonous and can be poisonous to the nasal passages. Air quality exposure has been shown to raise the chances of gasping in children even in the womb and that has lead to the progression of asthma. Later on, studies showed that this sensitivity in children is in no way genetic since some of the mothers did not have asthma. Early exposure to air pollution has often caused asthma during childhood and teenage years, specifically after the age of 4 years. In particular, traffic-related air pollution is linked with the development of asthma in schoolchildren. Exposure to air pollution is thought to possibly induce childhood asthma by affecting the growing lung and respiratory function.
There is a hefty amount of research indicating that the number of spontaneous pneumothorax cases is affected by varying concentrated nitrogen dioxide values per day, scattered ozone values, and lower diffuse temperature and wind velocity values. Other associations have been reported to appear less important, such as those with high carbon dioxide maximums and during cold and windy days. In order to further validate and report the impacts of meteorological variables on SP development, more testing in different countries based on similar models need to be done.
As we progress through life, lung function typically decreases, but recent research indicates that air pollution can lead to the aging process and extends to the fact that the lungs are impaired by breathing in contaminated air. So much so that with every average annual rise of 5 mg/m3 of PM2.5 in the air, to which patients were exposed at home, the decline in lung function was equivalent to the performance of two years of aging.
Environmental degradation and air pollution might mean more itching and sneezing for people with allergies. Plants create more pollen, growing ragweed and other allergens as temperature increases. The risk of molds may be raised by moisture from excessive rainfall and floods. Higher temperatures also allow allergens to thrive in new cultures and to last longer for allergy months.
Sadly, there is no ultimate solution to stop these diseases from developing unless we collectively overcome air pollution. All you can do before then is take protective steps such as living over 200 meters from a highway or any busy road, avoiding driving if feasible during rush hour. While driving, stick to country roads, restricting your time spent outside while the air quality is bad. Check regional air quality updates, keep your car windows shut when going to drive, particularly if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, and avoid unnecessary outdoor activities and exercise near major roads when smog levels are high, particularly in the afternoon or evening.
The respiratory system especially the lungs is a primary target of the harmful effects of air pollutants. Air pollution has given rise to the disease like lung cancer, asthma, spontaneous pneumothorax, aging lung, and allergies.