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.
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!