Did you know that up to four million people die annually from household air pollution? While these grim statistics indicate the impact of air pollution, it’s also a wake-up call for us. Besides, air pollution may emanate from sewer systems, industries, sewer systems, transportation, wildfires- the list goes on.
While there’s not much you can do to reduce or eliminate some causes, you can take some steps to safeguard your health. For starters, replacing your water supply filter can keep out pollutants. To that end, consider checking out the Discount Water Filters Website for reasonably priced offers on refrigerator filters.
Well, air pollution impacts the quality of the air we breathe, but it can be hard to tell when it’s affecting us. After all, we sometimes can’t see or smell the airborne pollutants harming our lungs and bodies. So, how can you tell if air pollution is affecting you? You might notice a few telltale signs that air pollution is taking its toll. Let’s categorize the effects of air pollution into two: short-term and long-term impacts to help drive the point home.
1. Short-term Effects
As the sub-title suggests, short-term effects are temporary and may include ailments or discomfort from exposure to polluted air. And while the impact may not be severe, they result in high hospitalization rates. These effects include:
If you find yourself wheezing or coughing more often than usual, it could signify that your lungs are struggling to cope with the polluted air. So, what’s the relationship between air pollution and coughing?
Exposure to polluted air can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation, leading to coughing or wheezing. The particles in polluted air can also trigger an allergic reaction, further exacerbating these symptoms. In some cases, exposure to air pollution can even lead to asthma.
Shortness of Breath
Air pollution can also cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. If you experience any of these symptoms after being exposed to polluted air, it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Also, if you live in an area with high levels of air pollution, monitor your health closely and consult your healthcare provider if you experience any unusual symptoms. By paying attention to our bodies, we can help protect ourselves from the harmful effects of air pollution.
You are at risk for severe respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia if exposed to air pollution. These illnesses are caused by an inflammation of the lungs, which in turn makes it difficult to breathe. Some common bronchitis symptoms include fever, chest discomfort, and fatigue.
Plus, both ailments are worsened by exposure to airborne pollutants like dust, gases, and smoke. In fact, studies show that people who live in areas with high levels of air pollution are more likely to develop bronchitis and pneumonia. So if you’re concerned about your respiratory health, or live in an area with high pollution levels, be proactive by taking extra care. This may mean:
- Wearing a mask when you go outside
- Relocating to another area- if possible.
- Steering clear of pollution hotspots
- Proper disposal of materials to avoid burning them
2. Long-term Effects
Air pollution can have wide-reaching and, sometimes, lifetime effects. For instance, an ailment such as pneumonia can result in death. For instance, if a family loses their sole breadwinner, it’s easy to see how their situation is likely to spiral.
Besides, air pollutants can cause irreversible damage to various body organs, including the brain, liver, and kidneys. Along the same lines, scientists suggest that air pollution can lead to congenital disabilities. Evidence shows that such pollutants adversely affect pregnancy and may result in miscarriage and stillbirth. Some of the other long-term effects include:
- Chronic asthma
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Infant mortality
- Pulmonary insufficiency
While these effects may vary from person to person, the sick, unborn, elderly, and children tend to be more susceptible. Specifically, exposure to fine particles of impurities- air, dirt, smoke, or soot- tends to have the most adverse effect. Due to their fine nature and small size, these pollutants can penetrate the lungs’ passageways, leading to devastating results.
Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to serious health problems. So, take the necessary steps to protect yourself from exposure.
All the same, our choices significantly affect the people around us- our families and communities. Hence, by making conscious choices at a personal level, we can effect change in our societies (at a local level). Air pollution is a problem we all face, and only through our concerted effort can we reduce it.