Climate change has never been new to us. We have been dealing with it for quite some time, and we have been trying our best to fight the issue. However, studies have shown recently that climate change is tied with some serious health issues.
This blog will show you why and how does climate change affect our health.
Climate change is a change in the world's weather system that occurs over several decades. Many of the recent changes in our climate have been caused by human activities. Without action, climate change will have far-reaching and disastrous consequences for our country, other countries, and communities around the world. This is a pressing issue with global, national, community, and personal implications.
How does climate change or global warming affect our health?
Climate change, along with other natural and man-made health stressors, affects human health and disease in a number of ways. Some existing health threats will increase and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is at the same risk. Important considerations are age, financial resources, and location. This increases the risk of disease through rising temperatures, more rain and runoff, and the effects of storms. Health effects can be in the form of gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhea, effects on the nervous and respiratory systems of the body, or liver and kidney damage.
Through Air Pollution
Climate change is expected to harm human health by increasing ground-level ozone and/or particulate air pollution in some locations. Ground-level ozone (a major component of smog) is associated with many health problems, such as decreased lung function, increased hospital admissions, and emergency room visits for asthma, and increased premature death. Exposure to high levels of air pollution can have a variety of negative health consequences. Increases the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer. Both short-term and long-term exposure to air pollutants has been linked to health effects.
Wildfires increase air pollution in surrounding areas and can affect regional air quality. The effects of wildfire smoke can range from eye and respiratory irritation to more serious conditions such as impaired lung function, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma, and heart failure, and premature death. Climate change increases the vulnerability of many forests to wildfires and is also expected to increase the frequency of wildfires in parts of the United States. Long periods of record high temperatures are accompanied by droughts that contribute to arid conditions and lead to wildfires in some areas. Smoke from wildfires contains particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and various volatile organic compounds (which are precursors to ozone) and can significantly reduce air quality locally and in downwind areas.
Extreme heat events can trigger a variety of heat stress conditions, such as heatstroke. Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature. Body temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body cannot cool down. This condition can lead to death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not received. Young children, the elderly, and some other groups, including those with chronic illnesses, low-income populations, and outdoor workers, are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses.
Allergens and Pollen
According to CDC, climate change will potentially lead to higher pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons, causing more people to experience more health effects from pollen and other allergens. Exposure to pollen can cause a variety of allergic reactions, including symptoms of hay fever. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, occurs when allergens like pollen enter your body and your immune system mistakenly recognizes them as a threat. When you have allergic rhinitis, your body responds to the allergen by releasing chemicals that can cause symptoms in the nose. Allergic rhinitis symptoms can occur at certain times of the year or throughout the year, depending on the allergen, and affect up to 60 million people each year in the United States. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, runny nose, and constipation.
Exposure to pollen can also trigger symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the lining of the eye (conjunctiva) due to exposure to allergens such as pollen. Allergic conjunctivitis is found in up to 30% of the general population and in up to 7 out of 10 people with allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include red, watery, or itchy eyes.
Diseases Carried by Vectors
Common vectors are mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. Climate change is creating new uncertainties about the spread of VTEs such as Zika virus, dengue, malaria, and Lyme disease by changing the conditions that affect the development and dynamics of pathogens and the pathogens they carry.
Food and Waterborne Diarrheal Disease
There is ample evidence that climates, particularly heavy rains, and high temperatures, can increase the risk of diarrhea, one of the most important components of the burden of waterborne diseases. Diarrheal disease is a major public health problem in developing countries and, although it is not increasing overall in the United States, it is still an ongoing problem. Exposure to a wide variety of pathogens in water and food causes diarrheal illness. Air and water temperatures, precipitation patterns, extreme precipitation events, and seasonal fluctuations are known to influence disease transmission. In the United States, children and the elderly are the most susceptible to serious consequences, and those who are exposed to inadequate or untreated groundwater will be hit the hardest.
Higher temperatures, water scarcity, extreme events such as droughts and floods, and higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere have begun to affect staple crops around the world. Maize and wheat production has declined in recent years due to extreme weather events, crop diseases, and an increase in water scarcity in general.
If climate change affects food production, it goes without saying that it also affects access to food. This simple supply and demand have big effects: climate change and weather disasters (such as floods or droughts) can increase the price of food availability. These price increases leave the poorest households (urban poor and rural buyers) most vulnerable, with the urban poor spending up to 75% of their total budget on food.
As our food systems become increasingly interdependent, this means more frequent and extreme events in one region can disrupt food system clusters or even entire regions. global food system. However, the regions that are least likely to adapt to a sudden event or shock, remain disproportionately affected.
Climate change, along with other natural and man-made health stressors, affects human health and disease in a number of ways. Some existing health threats will increase and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is at the same risk. Important considerations are age, financial resources, and location.