Air Pollution And Respiratory Diseases: The Link Between The Two


Everyone should be aware of the local air quality and take extra measures such as spending less time outdoors and wearing masks when air quality is poor.

Written by Tavishi Dogra | Updated : December 9, 2023 1:54 PM IST


Air Pollution

Air pollution results in environmental damage and adversely affects the well-being of the patients. We must be aware as we see more brown haze over a city. The pollutants in the ambient air were mainly from industrial production, forest and brush fires, garbage burning, and transport emissions. Nevertheless, Dr. Inder Mohan Chugh, Senior Director of Pulmonology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, explains that indoor air contains all the same pollutants (tobacco smoking/ benzene and formaldehyde from furniture) as outdoor air. Still, the concentrations are different, usually lower.


Air Pollution And Respiratory Diseases

Air pollution can aggravate diseases, including chronic bronchitis, along with many cardiovascular disorders like stroke and lung cancer. Delicate particulate matter can impair blood vessel function and accelerate arterial calcification. This can result in lowered levels of high-density lipoprotein, sometimes called good cholesterol, increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease. Air pollution can also affect lung development and the onset of asthma, increasing respiratory morbidity and mortality.


Asthma Severity

Asthma prevalence and severity increases are linked to urbanization and outdoor air pollution. Children residing in low-income urban areas tend to have more asthma cases than others. According to research published in 2023, two air pollutants, ozone and PM2.5, are responsible for asthma-related changes in children’s airways and PM and nitrogen oxide are linked to chronic bronchitis. Also Read - Parkinson's Disease: Protein Linking Neurodegenerative Diseases And Neuronal Communication


Other Problems Include

A reduction in FEV1 or FVC is associated with clinical symptoms, increased prevalence of wheezing, increased prevalence or incidence of chest tightness that interferes with regular activity, and eye, nose and throat irritation that may interfere with everyday activity.