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Pollution And Asthma: Is There A Connection?

2863 words - 12 pages

Pollution and Asthma
Steven Kennelly
Central Valley School District

Pollution and Asthma
Introduction
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. This occurs when the airflow is obstructed. Asthma affects people of both genders, all races and age. Asthma existed in ancient Egypt times and possibly even before that. (Crosta, 2000, p. 2) Asthma had been on the decline up until 2001 (Asthma In The U.S., 2011). In 2001, one out of every fourteen people had asthma. Since then asthma has been on a gradual incline. In 2009, one in every 12 people now had asthma (Asthma Statistics, 2013). This means 25 million people in the United States are living with asthma. More and more people are dying every day because of asthma. Scientists are trying to figure out why asthma has been increasing in the recent years. There are several different possible explanations that scientists are trying to prove for the sake of a solution (Asthma Statistics, 2013).
To figure how to solve this problem, people first need to understand asthma. Asthma causes the pathways from the nose and mouth to the lungs to become narrowed. It is most common in children. Asthma causes wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing and night time or morning coughing. Sometimes the asthma could be so severe medical treatment is needed to restore normal breathing. There are two types of asthma; allergic and nonallergic. The most common form is allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is caused dust mites, pet hair, pollen etc. Non allergic asthma have symptoms that are very similar but do not have anything to do with an allergic reaction. This type of asthma can be triggered by anxiety, stress, exercise, cold and dry air and viruses from smoke. Both types of asthma causes irritation if the airways which cause more symptoms. The airway branches to the lungs become a lot more sensitive to asthma triggers. Also the lungs will have trouble putting air in and out which will cause coughing and wheezing (Background on Asthma, 2012).
Scientists have been researching what causes asthma for a long time, but even today the answer is unknown. Scientists think that certain genetic and environmental factors contribute to the cause of asthma. Someone with an inherited tendency to contract allergies may be more at risk. The risk of having asthma is greater when the parents have or had asthma. Some people can develop asthma later in life if they had a respiratory infection as a child. If someone was exposed to an allergen or viral infection when they were younger as their immune system was developing, they may have a greater chance of having asthma later on down the road (What Causes Asthma, 2012).
Asthma Triggers
The number one trigger of asthma in children are respiratory infections such as the flu, sinus infections and sore throats. Exercising can cause asthma because of the increased breathing. This is especially true in cold weather. Weather can also be a factor when evaluating the...

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