4 Ways How Poor Air Quality Can Negatively Affect Your Health

Next week is Air Quality Awareness Week, which highlights the many ways that air quality can affect your health. According to epa.gov, this year’s theme is Show How You Care About the Air.

Air quality is critical to daily well being – like water to a fish, it’s invisible and taken for granted, until we don’t get enough of the good stuff. Then we feel it immediately.

Air pollution comes mainly from human activities like fossil fuel emission, which is the result of manufacturing and transportation. Pollutants like smog, sulfates, nitrates and carbon also have a significant impact on health.


How poor air quality can affect your health?

  1) Eyes, Nose and Throat Irritations

Whether or not you have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, enough exposure to dust and pollutants can cause sore throats, watery eyes, and nasal irritation. If these symptoms are common for you around a home or work area with construction, chemical fumes, or similar pollutants, consider wearing a mask over your nose and mouth while outdoors, or seek areas where less pollution is present.

2) Shortness of Breath

Increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing can be common symptoms of poor air quality. Be sure to consult a medical professional if you experience these symptoms, particularly if you have no previous respiratory history.

3) Aggravated Asthma

Unsurprisingly, poor air quality can aggravate the symptoms of people with asthma or other respiratory conditions like emphysema. Chronic bronchitis or chronic respiratory diseases in children can also form from long exposures to polluted air. If you experience chest pains, asthma attacks, or consistent coughing, it’s important that you seek medical attention, such as from your regular doctor or a nearby urgent care.

4) Heart and Cardiovascular Problems

Those with heart conditions should avoid polluted and low-quality air as much as possible. Poor air quality has been associated with increased risks of heart attacks and arrhythmias in people with such conditions.

Are you concerned about how air quality may be affecting your health? Come down to your local urgent care center at our Fountain Valley, Irvine urgent care or Costa Mesa urgent care facilities. Be sure to schedule an appointment online with us first!

Category: Family Health Care


Peter Kim, MD

Dr. Kim,  is the Medical Director of Family Care Centers, Former Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Hoag Hospital, and a recipient of the Physicians of Excellence award from the Orange County Medical Association. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine, and has been practicing in our community for over 20 years. He is an excellent, caring, and well­qualified physician who is dedicated to providing you with superior health care. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from UCLA and received his medical training at the LAC­USC Medical Center. After completing his residency in Family Medicine, he accepted a sports medicine fellowship at San Jose Medical Center, an affiliate of Stanford University. He enjoys working with patients and families who are training or want to get back into an active lifestyle. Review Dr. Kim on: Facebook Google Yelp HealthGrades RateMDs

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