What are the Worst Cities for Asthma?
It might not be obvious, but where you live can affect your asthma. Fresh, mountain air will bring a sigh of relief to your lungs, whereas being in large, overpopulated cities can fill the air with pollution, making it difficult to breath.
For many people, there isn’t much choice when it comes to living situations. Jobs, family, or lack of financial funds can make it difficult to move. Whether you’re able to choose your primary residence or not, it’s still a good idea to be aware of what locations can negatively impact your asthma symptoms. If you’re planning a vacation, be sure to stay away from these spots.
Top 10 Worst Cities for Asthma in the USA
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- Richmond, Virginia
- Dayton, Ohio
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Youngstown, Ohio
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Toledo, Ohio
While air pollution plays a part in some of these cities, it’s not the only contributing factor to why they should be avoided by people with asthma.
Your living conditions are also an important factor. Several factors such as second-hand smoke, pollen, being uninsured, and poverty are all issues. Knowledge about which cities are the worst for those with this condition may be something to consider when relocating.
Other factors include things such as pollen count in the air (which can trigger seasonal and/or allergic asthma), poverty (which acts as a barrier for people accessing medical care), and the percentage of people who access specialists and medication.
The annual prevalence rates for asthma in the U.S. are also an important number that has contributed to the city ranking. Among many people who have asthma and allergies, regular use of medication is often low. This is another reason why this condition is not adequately controlled.
If left untreated, complications of asthma can arise, such as mental illness and heart disease. Learn more about the risks here.
Many restaurants and other public areas do not have a ban on smoking, which results in second-hand smoke also aggravating asthma and allergies in those having problems.
Having a proper program in place in schools and passing a smoke-free law that will help exposure to second-hand smoke at the workplace are also something that will improve the condition. Many P.E. educators are unaware that rigorous exercise and physical activity can also result in severe difficulties in students.
Educating people about this condition will help to handle and manage the symptoms better.
About 10 to 15% of people with asthma are believed to have a severe form of the condition and do not respond to regular treatment well. People with more severe forms are regular visitors to the emergency room and must be hospitalized more often. Risk of death is also greater in these people. There is a great burden on the health care system due to this condition.
Living With Asthma
There are several things people with asthma can do to reduce their symptoms and lower the chance of having an asthma attack. These are all good practices to follow, regardless of whether you are visiting one of the cities on this list.
- Know Your Triggers: Is your asthma triggered by air pollution, seasonal allergies, exercise, or something else? If you know what causes your symptoms, plan to avoid to, or limit your exposure.
- Have Medication Ready: If you take puffers make sure you always have a full prescription ready to use. Whether it’s a regular or emergency inhaler, always make sure it’s with you so you can treat and/or limit your symptoms.
- Listen to Your Body: This is especially important for those who suffer from exercise induced asthma or allergic asthma. If you start to feel tightness in your chest, have difficulty breathing, or feel your sinuses getting congested, take a step back. Stop what you’re doing, take your medication as needed, and give your body the physical rest it needs.
By naming the top cities associated with asthma helps to address the need to bring about changes to living conditions that aggravate these health problems.
Other important treatment options include offering a better quality of life, calling attention to the epidemic condition of this illness, alleviating the chronic occurrences, and providing better medical care.
Certain cities may not be the best choice for someone to live in or visit if they have severe asthma or allergy issues. Knowing this information beforehand can make a positive difference.