Asthma medication and the link with air pollution

Asthma affects adults, children, the old and the infirm. It is a disease, unlike any other, one that can wreck lives and livelihoods without remorse. The ugly truth about asthma and asthma medication is that we are only able to react to the disease effectively. Mankind has evolved and has discovered many cures for a host of illnesses, but asthma, like a few others, cannot be prevented, and there are no guarantees that it is ever fully cured. It can be managed however, and that is the only treatment for asthma available at the moment. Research is underway to identify the causes and triggers of asthma so that a cure can be found, but it will take time. Recently, studies have shown that an increased incidence of asthma can occur due to high levels of air pollution. The statistics show that more individuals living in metropolitan areas with high air pollution are affected by asthma than those in rural, less polluted areas. So how does air pollution cause asthma then? What is the best medication to fight asthma? We hope to answer these questions here.

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Asthma treatment is preventative and reactive. Preventative courses of medication ensure that the frequency and severity of attacks reduce, while the best inhalers for asthma are designed to provide immediate relief when an attack strikes. The best inhalers for asthma release steroids directly into the constricted airways, providing instant relief from the crushing breathlessness caused by the disease. Air pollutants have increased the incidence of asthma and affected people who may not have had issues with the disease in the past. Particulate matter like dust, soot, diesel exhaust particles, wood smoke, and sulfate aerosols remain suspended in the air for longer periods of time than most pollutants. These particles, when inhaled can get lodged in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks. People who live around coal-fired power plants, factories, and diesel vehicles are exposed to this form of pollution and subsequent asthma that follows. Ozone, a life-saving gas that prevents the sun’s harmful UV rays from doing any damage is harmful to us through direct inhalation. Ozone that occurs naturally at high altitudes is helpful, but due to the smog ozone has begun forming at lower altitudes, even ground level in congested areas with high vehicular traffic. This automatically necessitates the need for better asthma medication, as our dependence on fossil fuelled vehicles is not expected to drop anytime soon.

Sulfur dioxide is also deadly for human beings. People who live in or around oil refineries or power plants tend to suffer the most, and though sulfur dioxide controls are in place to check the gas from leaving the unit, chances are that a small amount will escape and cause respiratory harm and the consequent dependence on the best inhalers for asthma. The high sulfur fuel being burnt here is one of the top causes for almost all respiratory issues that plague the surrounding areas. Nitric oxide contributes to smog and the creation of ozone at lower levels of the atmosphere. This is released by vehicles, through their tailpipes and through factories and power plants. Carbon monoxide, caused by inefficient burning of carbon-based fuels is a poison that can kill humans even in small quantities.

Air pollution is rife, and with such high levels of toxicity in the very air we breathe changes need to be made. These can be as small as using asthma medication correctly and only when there is a need to use it. With legislation being passed across the world to control pollution levels and research being carried out on alternative green fuels, chances are that the incidence of asthma will reduce in the near future. Treatment for asthma though must remain a priority.