Air and Breathing
Air Is Vital
Air is a vital source of life on planet earth. Breathing is our method of bringing air inside our bodies. Breathing disorders express disturbances in the relationship between the inside and the outside.
Life is breathing. Life is air, food and water. Humans have lungs. Air has oxygen. Lungs take oxygen from the air and give back carbon dioxide. Oxygen enters the blood and combines with hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to every cell in the body. A cell will die without oxygen. Humans can survive without food for months. Deprived of air, humans die within minutes.
The atmosphere of the earth consists of air, water and suspended particles. The atmosphere changes continuously. Weather is an expression of heating and cooling effects in the atmosphere. The sun supplies most of the energy of change.
We now have an understanding of the environment. The term “ecosystem” refers to an understanding of how living creatures interact with each other and with the physical features of the planet. Almost every student learns the basics of ecosystems and can tell you that we need clean air, clean water and food to sustain human populations. Most students, like most adult citizens, treat knowledge of ecosystems as an abstract exercise and will consume, pollute and ignore the negative environmental consequences of their actions. This is not to argue that these are bad people. It is to observe that school, book and television knowledge is too abstract to be widely applicable and that humans only respond to locally perceived environmental crises.
History tells us that humans adapt easily to deteriorating conditions and will persist in following daily routines even when air pollution is severe, traffic is congested, water and food supplies are at risk, and social order is unstable. The tolerance for environmental destruction is ancient and human history is littered with civilizations that failed because humans indiscriminately exploited natural resources and spoiled their own nest. The solution to this tendency requires strong leadership by smart, well-educated, compassionate humans who understand that nature is divine and human survival depends on healthy ecosystems.
This book helps you understand the atmosphere, climate change, air quality issues, normal breathing and the causes of breathing disorders. You will find detailed information about airborne infection, air quality and airborne hazards at home. Problems of the nose, ear and throat are discussed. Airborne allergy and food allergy causes are explained. The mechanisms of asthma are discussed and drug treatments reviewed. A chapter on respiratory infections describes viral and bacterial causes of upper respiratory disease and lung diseases. A special section on fungal diseases is included. Air pollution and airborne outdoor causes of lung disease are also discussed with advice about improving both indoor and outdoor air quality. Asthma is a prototype of airway disease, often associated with nose and throat symptoms. Asthma sometimes merges with chronic lung disease that involves both inflammatory changes in bronchi and inflammatory changes in alveoli that involve scarring and loss of gas exchange capacity. The three basic treatment choices for airway diseases are:
- Remove the causes of disease
- Treat the effects of the disease
- Alter the host to be more tolerate of the causes
The large issues of air quality are survival issues for humans and all other living creatures on the planet. An up to date view of climate change and responsible action is included in this book
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