Air pollution can worsen asthma and lead to additional symptoms of COPD called asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS).
Air pollution and Asthma
A high level of exposure to fine dust and ozone in the air in patients with asthma can lead to symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Their lung function is then even more impaired and they deteriorate more than patients who only have asthma. Pulmonologists refer to this clinical picture as Asthma-COPD-Overlap-Syndrome (ACOS).
Patients with asthma, whose air is long-term polluted with fine dust and ozone, have an almost three-fold increased risk of developing ACOS. This was the result of a recent study from Canada.
Point out the existing dangers of high levels of particulate matter
The range of effects of particulate matter and ozone on health is large, ranging from short-lived, acute irritation of the bronchial system on the development of allergies to chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system and lungs, as well as high blood pressure, diabetes, and lung cancer with significantly shortened life expectancy.
The effects on the bronchial system are very heterogeneous: While some of the asthmatics develop progressive changes in the lungs and severe symptoms, some seem to be less affected by air pollution. The reason for this is still being researched. The extent and duration of exposure – from childhood or not until older age – but certainly play a decisive role.
Inhalers and Nebulizers: Asthma Treatment Strategies
People with asthma have to fight their illness with medication for the rest of their lives, and various inhalers have become an indispensable part of modern asthma therapy. Learning about proper medication and other asthma treatment strategies allows them to lead active lives.
There are different types of inhalers that provide portable asthma medication – the metered-dose inhalers and the powder inhalers are frequently being used by asthmatics.
Electric nebulizers are stationary inhalers that are used for treatment at home. They not only help adolescents and adults but are also suitable for infants and toddlers. They cannot use conventional metered-dose aerosols or powder inhalers correctly because of their level of development so that the required amount of the asthma drug does not get where it belongs – in the lungs.
Recently, the use of portable nebulizers has been introduced in the market. It is handy, no tubing attached, and it can be taken anywhere. Before using a portable nebulizer, it would be best to ask your doctor first about it.
These nebulizers are so-called wet inhalers, in which an inhalable aerosol – i.e. a vapor containing active ingredients – is produced from a liquid active ingredient solution by means of a membrane or nozzle nebulizer.
Jet nebulizers are often used, which use compressed air to nebulize drugs that dilate the airways, that are anti-inflammatory, that dissolve mucus, or, if necessary, that have antibiotic effects. The active ingredient is filled in and used either by means of a carrier solution (usually saline solution) or as a ready-to-use solution.
Asthmatics Can Live A Normal Life
As long as you are in good control of your asthma, you should be able to do your daily activities appropriately. You can even sign in on any sport. Sports that teach proper breathing techniques, e.g. Yoga can be beneficial for asthma sufferers. However, if you find that exercise is making your asthma worse, you should tell your doctor immediately as your medication needs to be checked.