Air pollution and mental health
Mental health is a very important aspect in most people’s lives. People who suffer from mental illnesses are more likely to have air quality problems, air pollution has many negative effects on the body, air pollution can also cause issues with mental health.
Air pollution can lead to chronic problems that will only get worse over time.
Many people don’t know, but air pollution has a major impact on mental health.
Air pollution has been linked to many mental disorders including anxiety and depression.
How air pollution affect mental health
Air pollution can cause serious mental health problems in people who are exposed to air pollution regularly. Studies show that exposure to pollutants like nitrogen dioxide (NO2), benzene, ozone, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) can lead to mental health problems.
Air pollution has been linked to the development of major depression and anxiety disorders in people who live in highly polluted areas. The risk of having a psychiatric disorder was greater in people with chronic exposure to air pollutants than those who live in urban areas with lower levels of air pollution.
In addition to developing mental illnesses, those who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution can also experience a number of different symptoms.
-Lingering respiratory infections
-Coughs and colds that do not go away as quickly as they should
-Headache or facial pressure
-Changes in appetite, weight gain, and sleep disturbance.
How does air pollution affect depression?
Studies show that exposure to pollution can be linked to the development of depression. Exposure to air pollutants increases the risk of developing major depression by 33 percent, and anxiety disorder increased by 30 percent.
The longer people are exposed to air pollution the higher their chances are of developing mental illness problems later down the line. People who live in areas with high levels of air pollution are also more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders than people who live in areas with lower concentrations of pollutants.
People who breathe high levels of air pollution are at higher risk for developing psychiatric problems. Pollutants can cause inflammation in the respiratory system which releases cytokines into the bloodstream that can affect mood. People who have chronic respiratory diseases are more likely to suffer from depression.
Air pollution also triggers the release of inflammatory cytokines in the bloodstream, causing inflammation in the respiratory system which can lead to lung infections.
People with asthma are especially at risk for developing mental health problems when exposed to high levels of air pollutants.
What are the causes of mental pollution?
Exposure to air pollutants is a major cause of mental health problems, but other factors such as pre-existing medical conditions and genetics may also contribute to the development of mental illness after exposure to pollutants.
Other factors that can influence how pollution affects the brain are:
-Pre-existing medical conditions
-Smoking is also a major contributor. If you smoke, quitting will reduce the risk of having mental health problems caused by air pollution.
Bottom line: Air pollution can lead to chronic health problems, and when combined with other factors such as genetics and pre-existing conditions, it can increase the risk that someone will develop mental illness. People who live in areas with high concentrations of air pollutants are especially at risk.
How does pollution affect emotional development?
A recent study shows that infants and young children who live in areas with high levels of air pollution are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems.
The study followed 2,734 children from birth to 7 years old in the Netherlands.
It was found that babies who were exposed to air pollutants during pregnancy had an increased risk of developing behavioral problems at age 3 and emotional problems at age 7.
Babies exposed to air pollution during the first year of life were more likely to have a lower IQ score and a higher risk for hyperactivity at 7 years old compared to those who lived in areas with low levels of air pollution.
What dirty air does to your brain.
Air pollution is made up of a mixture of gases, liquids, and suspended particles that have been linked to a number of respiratory health problems. Exposure to air pollutants can lead to inflammation in the brain as well as lung function problems.
When you breathe polluted air, your lungs absorb pollutants which trigger an inflammatory response from the brain’s glial cells.
The release of cytokines during this process can lead to problems in thinking, memory, and learning.
exposure to air pollution has also been linked to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases that affect the brain later in life.
Ozone (O3) is one type of air pollutant that has been associated with deteriorating mental health.
Researchers found that exposure to high levels of ozone increased the risk for psychotic symptoms and cognitive decline in older women.
Can pollution lower IQ?
A number of studies show that living in areas with high levels of air pollution can be linked to lower IQ scores.
Researchers looked at 645 children in Mexico City who were born in the 1990s.
The study found that children with prenatal exposure to high levels of air pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide, had lower IQ scores at age 7 compared to children who were not exposed to air pollutants in the womb.
People who live in polluted areas also suffer from cognitive decline, including symptoms of dementia.
Bottom line: Living in areas with high levels of air pollution can lead to mental health problems and lower IQ scores. People who live in polluted areas suffer from cognitive decline that may be linked to symptoms of dementia.
Conclusion: Air pollution has been linked to many mental disorders including anxiety and depression. The more you know about the effects of air quality, the better prepared you’ll be in fighting it’s negative impacts on your health.
If you think that this is an issue for yourself or someone close to you, contact our doctors today for help!