Air Quality Guide

More than 30 million Americans suffer from chronic lung conditions, including emphysema and asthma. These conditions can be caused or aggravated by air pollution. According to the American Lung Association (ALA), pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the number-one killer of infants under the age of one.

The following suggestions from the Tennessee Department of Health can help people protect themselves from air pollution.

  • Limit outdoor exercise when air pollution levels are expected to be high, especially late afternoons and early evenings. Walk instead of jogging, or jog for half your usual time.
  • Reduce your health risk by changing activities, cutting back or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities when pollution levels are expected to be high.
  • Be aware of respiratory symptoms, especially in children, elderly and those with heart or lung conditions.
  • Reduce your activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing or breathing difficulty.

If you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing or breathing difficulty, schedule an appointment with your doctor. The Heart Lung Vascular Institute at UT Medical Center provides excellent patient-centered care through its Respiratory Services.