The American Lung Association writes that asthma is a reversible obstructive lung disease, which is caused by increased reaction of the airways to various stimuli. This is a chronic inflammatory condition which has acute exacerbations. Asthma can be a life-threatening disease if it is not managed properly. The University of Melbourne reported on a news release on Aug. 20, 2013, Traffic pollution and wood smoke increases asthma in adults.
A new University of Melbourne led study has found that asthma sufferers who are frequently exposed to heavy traffic pollution or smoke from wood fire heaters, experienced a significant worsening of symptoms. The study has been the first of its kind to assess the impact which traffic pollution and wood smoke from heaters has on middle-aged adults with asthma.
The results of this study revealed adults who suffer from asthma and were exposed to heavy traffic pollution experienced an 80 per cent increase in their symptoms and those exposed to wood smoke from wood fires experienced an 11 per cent increase in their symptoms.
Dr John Burgess of the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne and a co-author of the study has commented, “it is now recommended that adults who suffer asthma should not live on busy roads and that the use of old wood heaters should be upgraded to newer heaters, to ensure their health does not worsen.” It is thought that traffic exhaust exacerbates asthma through airway inflammation. The study also revealed a connection between the inhalation of wood smoke exposure and asthma severity. Asthma is one of the most chronic health conditions which affects more than 300 million people worldwide.