Air pollution has become an epidemic in big cities across the world, causing not only respiratory problems but also many other diseases, one of which being strokes.
Although stroke can occur as a result of many different conditions and circumstances, air pollution should be considered as one of the main causes, according to recent studies conducted by some of the top medical institutions in the US.
In this article, we will discuss how polluted air can cause a stroke and what you can do to reduce the risks associated with it.
The symptoms of strokes caused by polluted air aren’t always obvious, making them especially dangerous. Aside from sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis in one part of your body, you may not feel any effects until someone else points them out to you.
If you notice other people staring at you and pointing or trying to draw your attention away from something they want to show you, that could indicate that something isn’t right.
Even if these events don’t occur, many strokes are preceded by warning signs such as dizziness or vomiting.
The sooner you know you’re having symptoms of polluted air strokes, or if there are no obvious signs, get yourself checked out immediately. If you notice anything unusual that isn’t going away after more than 24 hours, go to your doctor.
The faster you get treatment, especially if pollution-related strokes have occurred in your family before, you may benefit from preventative treatment such as taking blood thinners regularly.
How To Reduce the Risk?
The first thing to keep in mind when discussing reducing your risk of stroke from polluted air is that it’s incredibly hard to know what specifically led to your stroke. There are several lifestyle habits you should be aware of and try to reduce or eliminate if possible.
If you live in an area with highly polluted air or are regularly exposed to large amounts of toxic pollutants (e.g., working in construction or another job that puts you at high risk). Consider moving somewhere less polluted (even if only temporarily) until you can minimize your exposure levels.
Going on vacation for a few days can reduce pollution exposure dramatically and prevent strokes by allowing your body more time to recover between exposures. If you live in an area with highly polluted air, try to avoid strenuous activity during peak pollution hours (usually early morning or late afternoon).
If you must go outside during these times, make sure you’re wearing a mask that filters out small particulates and one that filters out larger pollutants like carbon monoxide.
Finally, if possible, consider staying indoors whenever there are large amounts of particulate matter in the air—and be sure to keep all windows closed when doing so.
Not only will you be breathing cleaner air inside, but you’ll also be preventing yourself from being exposed to allergens and other airborne irritants that could trigger an attack or exacerbate existing conditions like asthma or COPD.