Is There a Connection Between Allergies and Pollution?

Air pollution hangs over Hong Kong Island 




December 12th, 2015

Pollution in the air is a sad fact of our world today. The overpopulation of people with their   many vehicles, pollution from factories, and overall poor air quality in bigger cities contribute to the problem. People that suffer from allergies such as hay fever and seasonal allergies that come up each Spring can make breathing difficult. Pollution in the air doesn’t help people that have respiratory problems. Once they breath in dirty air particles they attach themselves to the lining of the lungs causing inflammation making breathing that much more taxing and difficult. So the connection between allergies and pollution is very real.

Types of Pollutants: Indoor and Outside

The biggest indoor pollutant is from cigarette smoke. This is strongly associated with allergies in those who are allergic to the smoke. If you live in an environment where smoke is present on a daily basis, and you have allergies to it there are going to be problems. Parents that smoke increase the risk that their children will develop respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and asthma attacks. Smoke from cigarettes is by far the most poisonous type of pollutant that can be present indoors. Nothing else even comes close. Sorry to say this, but if you know a smoker, you know someone who is contributing to the problem.

Outside diesel fumes also cause allergy problems in people who are sensitive to this vehicle’s exhaust. That’s why cars and trucks undergo emissions testing to make sure they are within the recommended emission during an “e-check.” If the car doesn’t pass then you can’t register the vehicle.

The carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide that is produced from various factory emission also pollutes the ozone layer and in general makes for poor area quality. In larger more populated cities this is a bigger problem. The government is constantly updating regulations to make sure companies are following all the environmental guidelines in place to the best of their ability. All the pollution formed in the air can act as an irritant for people with allergies, so it’s best to be aware of that fact before you move somewhere that has a high pollution count.

You can go online to find out how the pollution is acting on a daily basis in your own area. Many weather website have this as a feature such as “The Weather Channel.” An “Allergy Tracker” feature tells you the pollen counts, breathing quality, and if mold is a factor for any city you type in the search bar. It’s a pretty clever app to have, especially if you have allergies that affect your day to day life. It will also tell you the allergy outlook for the following day. So if you are planning on going outside this is an excellent feature to look at. There are “high ozone” days that mean that the air is of a particularly poor quality and those with allergies should avoid prolonged exposure outside if possible. These days usually happen in the summertime where the hot and humid air can exacerbate the issue of air pollution making it much worse.  A visit to The Salt Suite can help relieve some of the symptoms caused by various forms of pollution.