That our bodies need fresh air is a fact. Unfortunately it is also a fact that as humans, we are gradually destroying the quality of air we breathe. Air pollution is becoming a serious threat to our wellness. Air pollution can be defined as a mixture of solid particles and gases in the atmosphere. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. Air pollutants are definitely unhealthy for the human body, simply because these foreign elements should never be inside our lungs.
Most of these air pollutants are highly poisonous and can cause serious health problems if caution is not taken. If a person already has sensitive and serious health issues before, like a heart or lung disease, further exposure to air pollution can be extremely fatal.
It’s not a surprise for anyone that the smoke from cigarettes or any tobacco products is one of the major air pollutants in the world, yet not that many people do something about it. There are just too many things to consider when dealing with cigarette smoke whether in your home or outside in public. If you have a smoker in the house, you may want to have some air purifiers or much better, get that person to quit the habit entirely.
There’s a lot of health risks when it comes to secondhand smoke or living near an industrial plant that emits harmful chemicals in the air. Since air pollution is seemingly impossible to eradicate, measures should be put around it to keep you and your family away from harm.
Here are some of the effects of prolonged exposure to air pollution:
- Cardiovascular and respiratory sickness: Prolonged exposure to poisonous air pollutants in most cases results in sickness that affects the heart, blood vessels like arteries and veins, and the lungs. The heart might not be able to work well to supply oxygen to other parts of the body and when this happens, it leads to other types of ailments like paralysis. The heart becomes weak easily from strenuous activities, and breathing becomes very difficult. This is really not something a man should experience but if he is continually exposed to air pollution, it might be unavoidable.
- Damaged respiratory cells: This kind of disease affects the major respiratory organ which is the lungs. The lungs pump oxygen circulated blood to other parts of the body. Examples of these diseases are; emphysema and lung cancer. If it is not quickly detected, diagnosed and treated, it may lead to loss of life as a result of heart failure.
- Inability to resist infection: This is another long term effect of being exposed to air pollutants for a lengthy period. It destroys the body's ability to fight against some infections that it should be immune to. Once the body loses its ability to fight against some certain infections, that is the beginning of doom for the health of that particular individual.
- Reduced Stamina: At every given opportunity, a person suffering from the results of prolonged exposure to air pollution gets tired easily. These are the kinds of people that cannot engage in exercise or do any strenuous activities. If they attempt it, they break down easily and may faint incessantly in the process. Not being able to do anything strenuous means no fat and calories is being burnt and that is not not healthy for the heart or the body. Fainting for a number of times within a short period affects a part of the brain and eventually a person's intelligence.
If an athlete is exposed to unhealthy atmospheric conditions always, over time, his athletic performance will dwindle. And aside from dwindling performance on the field or tracks, the athlete’s health is put in great danger when constantly exposed to polluted air, as a matter of fact, everyone who is exposed to bad air is gradually endangering his or her own life.
Other effects of long term exposure to air pollution includes, asthma and bronchitis, irritation in airways, difficulties in breathing, coughing, wheezing, nausea, irrational of the eye and nose, sore throat, chest tightness, irregular heartbeat, headache or migraine, quickened aging of the lungs, short life span, childbirth defect, etc. This is when you want to have some air purifiers, around so that you can try and keep air as clean as possible to avoid getting sick.
Those who are more susceptible to these effects are: pregnant women, children below fourteen years, outdoor workers, elderly people, individuals with heart or lung diseases, athletes who exercise vigorously.
This does not mean that other people are excluded, which is why everyone should learn to go for routine medical checkups. Under no condition should you embark on self-medication, avoid smoking as much as you can, use nose masks when in a dusty environment, etc. All of these will assist in preventing air pollution.