Day 2: Asthma and Your Health
(This blog is one part of a series about air quality and your health. See part 1.)
Spring is in the air; a time to open the windows, soak in the season’s colorful blooms, and explore Nevada’s inspiring natural surroundings. In recognition of national Air Quality Awareness Week, May 4 – May 9, 2020, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is reminding Nevadans: "Better Air, Better Health.” Throughout Air Quality Awareness Week, we will be sharing helpful information and resources about Nevada’s air quality on this blog. Look for new air quality related themes each day!
Air Quality Affects How We Live and Breathe
Like the weather, air quality can change day to day and even hour to hour. How does poor air quality impact your health? Find out more at airnow.gov!
People with asthma may be particularly affected by air pollution. Ozone air pollution, which is more common in the summer months, is a trigger for asthma attacks, which may lead to increased medication use, more visits to emergency departments, and increased hospital admissions. Persons with asthma and other at-risk groups can use daily forecasts of the Air Quality Index (AQI) to plan exercise and other outdoor activities for times when air pollution is predicted to be low. Read more about the AQI in tomorrow’s post.
People with asthma and other chronic lung conditions, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are not the only ones affected by ozone. Children, older adults, and active folks of all ages who exercise or work vigorously outdoors also are at risk. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, and inflame and damage the lungs. Over time, ozone exposure can cause permanent lung damage.
In addition, people with moderate to severe asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease. Learn more about COVID-19 and asthma here.
If you're at an increased risk, it's a good idea to check the air quality index in your area before heading outside, wear a face mask when necessary, keep windows and doors closed when air qualtiy is poor, and avoid congested areas.
Learn More About How Air Quality Affects People with Asthma
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- EPA – Asthma
- Particle Pollution and Heart Disease
- World Asthma Day
Check back tomorrow to learn about the Air Quality Index and how to find the current and forecasted air quality for your area.