May 2nd is World Asthma Day

“World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.” – ginasthma.org

It is estimated that as many as 300 million people suffer from some form of asthma in the world.  Unfortunately, there are a quarter of a million deaths each year linked to this disease.  While instances of many other diseases are decreasing in number, the cases of asthma continue to increase.  400 million people are predicted to have asthma by 2025.

Asthma is caused by swelling in the breathing tubes, which is the thickening of the airway wall of the bronchioles.  The narrowing of the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs makes breathing difficult and depending on the severity, can be life threatening.

Know your trigger and make a plan

On World Asthma Day, people with asthma are encouraged to identify allergens and irritants that can lead to asthma attacks.  Once triggers are identified, clinicians, patients, and caregivers should work together to incorporate them into an easy-to-understand-and-execute written asthma action plan (AAP).  Triggers are unique to each person, but can include tobacco smoke, pet dander, dust mites, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and more.  Outdoor air pollution, in particular, high concentrations of ground level ozone, can also be an asthma attack trigger.

Ozone, air quality, and what you can do about it

Currently, the Dallas-Fort Worth area does not meet the air quality standard for ground level ozone. Each one of us can play a part in reducing the amount of ground level ozone in the Metroplex. 

Click for current ozone activity and air quality index

There are numerous actions you can take to reduce air pollution:

  • Drive an alternatively fueled vehicle
  • Take the train or bus to work
  • Walk to lunch
  • Turn off the TV and go for a walk
  • Ride your bike to the grocery store
  • Install LED light bulbs
  • Use a programmable thermostat
  • Turn off your engine in the drive-thru
  • Plug electronics into a power strip and switch them off when you are finished using them

These are just some of the actions you can take to reduce ozone and improve our air quality.  Do you part to help reduce this common asthma trigger and make North Texas a healthier place to live.

For more information about ground level ozone, how the City of Dallas is doing its part to improve the region’s air quality, and actions you can take to reduce air pollution, click on the Green Dallas “Air Quality” tab.

 

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