Uncontrolled Asthma – Causes, and Worst Cities to Live In
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes swelling and inflammation of the airways. It is estimated that more than 339 million people worldwide suffer from this disease. It affects people of all age groups, and genders. However, it is more common in adult women than in men. Asthma has no specific underlying cause, but various allergens like pollen, dust, mold and even perfume can trigger asthma. Read on to learn more about the condition.
What is uncontrolled asthma?
Uncontrolled asthma is when affected individuals have persistent symptoms that interfere with daily life, even when they are on regular medication. It is estimated that over 60% of adults who are asthmatic suffer from uncontrolled asthma.
Causes of uncontrolled asthma
People may experience asthma attacks due to excessive stress and strong unpleasant emotions like unhappiness or crying. One must try to reduce one’s anxiety and stress.
Underlying health condition
Some respiratory health conditions like sleep apnea that block the upper airway while sleeping can lead to an asthma flare-up. Environmental allergies could also worsen asthma attacks.
Moving from drier to humid air or warmer to colder air might cause asthma attacks. This condition can be brought on by minor weather changes or leaving a controlled environment.
Looking at the global statistics, the prevalence of asthma is observed more in the country. The below-mentioned cities were ranked based on parameters like asthma prevalence, asthma-related emergency room visits, and asthma-related deaths. Here are the top five cities in the country with the highest number of asthma cases:
Detroit is the largest city in Michigan and is the center of the automobile industry in the country. The metropolitan area is densely populated with 4.3 million people. The atmosphere of Detroit has high levels of pollen and particulate matter from the industrial facilities and power plants that run on coal. All these factors contribute to poor air quality index. This adverse environmental condition increases the chances of developing or triggering asthma among inhabitants. It has the third-highest asthma cases in the country and is in eighth position in case of asthma-related fatalities. Detroit is among the top 25 cities with more emergency room visits due to asthma-related issues. According to the latest reports of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the prevalence of asthma among adults in Detroit is 46% higher than all the reported cases in the whole of Michigan. In the case of children, this was over 50%. However, persistent asthma and hospitalization rates are lower in the southwestern parts of Detroit.
Cleveland is a major city in the Great Lakes region and is situated on the banks of Lake Erie. The city’s metropolitan area is home to over 2 million people. Cleveland is a key industrial and commercial hub. The city used to have a moderate air quality index, but lately, the atmosphere has gotten more polluted with hazardous pollutants like particulate matter and ozone. This is extremely dangerous, especially for children, pregnant women, the aged, and people with chronic diseases like asthma and cardiovascular disorders. The lethal air pollutants can also cause reproductive and developmental problems leading to premature deaths. In addition, there is a high chance for residents to develop skin and lung cancer due to elevated levels of ozone pollution. The city has high asthma-related deaths and ranks top in reported asthma cases.
Philadelphia is ranked seventh on the list of the most challenging cities to live in with asthma. Over 56 million people live within 250 miles of this city. The atmosphere is highly contaminated with pollutants like ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. All these contribute to poor respiratory health, frequent incidences of asthma, and asthma-related fatalities. The extreme north and the west regions of Philadelphia report the maximum cases of asthma in the city. It is estimated that 21% of the children living in this area suffer from asthma, and the shocking fact is that this rate is more than double the national average.
Fresno is a large city in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The metro area houses over 1 million people. The areas surrounding this region are dedicated to agricultural practice. The city is surrounded by mountain ranges. This particular geography of the city lets the warm air trap emissions from over 3.5 million residents in the Central Valley, and this pools in Fresno. Due to this, the place ranks high among the cities with the worst air quality in the country. Around 19% of the residents in Fresno County have been diagnosed with asthma, and over 50% of these people need regular treatment to control their symptoms. Even though the respiratory condition increases yearly among adults, the rate remains steady among children. The asthma cases here usually surge during the winter.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Poughkeepsie is a city on the Hudson River in New York. The city has cold winters and relatively hot summers. It ranks eighth in the country among all the cities with the highest asthma prevalence. Poughkeepsie has high levels of pollen in the air during springtime. The city has a moderate air quality index which usually poses no severe threat. Still, it can be detrimental for people with chronic diseases like asthma and those with hypersensitivity to pollutants. Emergency department visits for asthma cases are more common among children than adults residing there.
Asthma is a serious health problem that can cause death if not strictly controlled. Most of these fatalities can be avoided with proper treatment. Asthma usually occurs when the immune system overreacts to a foreign particle in the lungs. It has no cure, but the symptoms can be managed with different categories of therapies. With a proper treatment plan, the affected individuals can lead a better quality of life. Asthma patients should always avoid the triggers that cause their symptoms to flare up. Common asthma allergens include pollen, mold, pet dander, perfumes, dust, chemical fumes, and food items.