The breath of life
The International Standard Version of the Bible informs us of the following in Genesis 2:7: ‘So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being.’ The King James Version translates part of this same text to ‘God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life’.
From this account, it is fair to assume that breathing equals life. Even a newborn’s first breath is proof of this concept, and it is one of the first things we applaud babies on: the vigor of their respiratory system. And throughout our lives we may be fortunate enough to have healthy lungs. And even modern medicine continues to build upon our current knowledge to support and strengthen our respiratory system, right up until we inevitably draw our last breath.
Sadly, however, more than seven million Australians suffer from allergies, including asthma, which is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. If you have asthma your airways are always inflamed. They become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten when something triggers your symptoms. This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness.
Air pollution can make asthma symptoms worse and trigger attacks
If you or your child has asthma, have you ever noticed symptoms get worse when the air is polluted? Air pollution can make it harder to breathe. It can also cause other symptoms, like coughing, wheezing, chest discomfort, and a burning feeling in the lungs. Two key air pollutants can affect asthma. One is ozone (found in smog). The other is particle pollution (found in haze, smoke, and dust). When ozone and particle pollution are in the air, adults and children with asthma are more likely to have symptoms.
Also notice any asthma symptoms that begin up to a day after you have been outdoors in polluted air. Air pollution can make you more sensitive to asthma triggers, like mold and dust mites. If you are more sensitive than usual to indoor asthma triggers, it could be due to air pollution outdoors.
Indoor air pollution and asthma
This winter, the National Asthma Council Australia warns that your home might even be a “high priority public health risk.” This is probably where you are exposed to most allergens and irritants, and they are urging people to do a thorough clean while the weather is good enough to air out the house, watch out for mites in bedding, ensure there is an extractor fan in the bathroom, seal any leaks to reduce mould, and ensure good quality air flow.
“Unflued gas heating is unhealthy and, in some cases, dangerous for people with asthma,” the council’s Adam Trumble says. “Wood fires are also not suitable for people with respiratory problems. Flued heaters and filtered reverse-cycle air-conditioning are better options.
Asthma in the Urban Environment as well as other relevant epidemiologic studies
Analysis of exposure outcome relationships in published literature demonstrates the importance of evaluating indoor home environmental air pollution sources as risk factors for asthma morbidity. Important indoor air pollution determinants of asthma morbidity in urban environments include particulate matter (particularly the coarse fraction), nitrogen dioxide, and airborne mouse allergen exposure.
Avoidance of harmful environmental exposures is a key component of national and international guideline recommendations for management of asthma. This literature suggests that modifying the indoor environment to reduce particulate matter, NO(2), and mouse allergen may be an important asthma management strategy.
If you take the necessary steps to reduce asthma triggers, but are still concerned about your home’s air quality, consider buying a therapeutic Ionising medical device for your home. These unique devices can improve the quality of air around us.