As we continue to be exposed to environmental toxins, more and more of us are at risk for respiratory health problems. Pollution, allergens and particular pollutants such as ozone can all have a significant impact on our health. To effectively reduce our respiratory health risks, it is important to understand the nature of exposures and the potential risks.
Understanding Pollutants and Their Health Impacts
Pollutants from sources such as vehicle exhaust, power plants, and oil and gas production can cause a variety of respiratory health problems including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other airway diseases. These pollutants can also contribute to overall reduced lung function, and long-term exposures can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
Exposure to Allergens
Exposure to allergens is another contributor to respiratory health issues. Common allergens include dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen. Those with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD, are particularly sensitive and can experience severe symptoms. Reducing exposure to allergens can be challenging and often requires consistent preventive measures such as thorough home cleaning and lifestyle adjustments.
Reducing Risk from Environmental Exposures
While it may not always be possible to completely prevent exposure to environmental pollutants and allergens, there are measures that can be taken. For example, checking air quality levels regularly and taking extra precautions when the levels are unhealthy can help limit exposure. Additionally, using air filters to remove pollutants from indoor air and avoiding activities that create emissions can help reduce exposure.
For those wanting to improve their respiratory health, understanding and reducing environmental exposures are essential. By taking proactive steps to minimize exposure, we can reduce our risk of developing illnesses or worsen existing conditions.