Announcing his book, due out next year, Khan, 51, said: “Climate change is the greatest threat facing our world and after being elected mayor I set myself the task of cleaning up London’s killer air pollution and reduce our carbon footprint so we can build a better, greener city for everyone.

“This summer has shown that climate change is not a distant problem. London has seen record temperatures, an official drought and wildfires raging across the city. I hope this book will inspire more people to take the immediate action needed to tackle climate change.”

But what is asthma and how is it diagnosed in adults?

What is asthma?

Asthma is a common lung disease that causes difficulty breathing. Although asthma often begins in childhood, it can develop for the first time in adulthood.

This causes swelling of the windpipe, which can happen accidentally or after exposure to a trigger.

Asthma is usually a long-term condition, especially if it develops in adulthood. But children with asthma may get better as they get older.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight chest
  • Cough

These symptoms may worsen in certain situations, such as at night, during exercise, or after reacting to a trigger such as the weather or allergies.

What causes asthma?

There are a number of reasons why asthma can develop in children and adults.

People are more likely to develop asthma if their family members also have it, especially their parents. People with allergies or a family history of allergies are also more likely to develop asthma.

Young babies are more likely to develop asthma if they were born prematurely or with a high or low birth weight. They are also at greater risk if they have certain illnesses, such as bronchiolitis or croup.

Smoking can cause asthma both in childhood (if the mother smokes during pregnancy or if someone smokes around the baby) and in adults (because smokers are more likely to develop asthma than non-smokers).

Occupational asthma is a common cause of asthma in adults. This is when someone is exposed to chemicals or dust while working, which can lead to asthma.

Obese people are more at risk of asthma attacks, while overweight children are more likely to develop lung disease.

Does air pollution cause asthma?

Pollution, the subject of Sadiq Khan’s book, is also a cause of asthma. Children who live near busy roads are more likely to develop asthma, and polluted air can make symptoms worse.

A 2019 study by King’s College London and Imperial College London found around 1,000 London hospitalizations with asthma and serious lung diseases each year were caused by poor air quality in the capital.

In 2020, The British Medical Journal published a study that showed that exposure to elevated levels of air pollution can lead to the development of asthma in children, as well as worsen existing conditions.

More than two million Londoners live in areas where air pollution levels exceed the limits, and poorer households are more likely to be exposed to air pollution.

Asthma + Lung UK has launched the Clean Air Champions programme, which encourages students to raise awareness of the importance of clean air and campaign to reduce air pollution.

What causes asthma?

People who suffer from asthma can be triggered by a number of factors, including the following:

  • Allergies
  • smoke
  • Pollution
  • Cold air
  • Exercise
  • Infections

How is asthma treated?

Although there is no cure for asthma, it can be treated with an inhaler.

An asthma relief inhaler is used when you need to quickly relieve asthma symptoms, while a prevention inhaler is usually used every day to stop symptoms.

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