Relocating for better air quality. But what counts as better air quality? Fumes or sea or fields?

Does anyone know of a map of the UK which indicates the areas where asthmatics are most likely to breathe more easily? I grew up in a city and my chest was very troublesome; I lived abroad for a year and my asthma disappeared; I moved to Kent 5 miles in land amidst farmers' fields and my chest is even more troublesome that when I lived in the middle of a city, although it might be because I'm in a valley. I'm now in a position where I am foot-loose and fancy-free and would happily relocate to anywhere in the UK if it meant easier breathing and fewer chest infections. However, no one seems willing to commit to saying which areas might be better. Moving house costs at least £10,000 and spending that amount of money to 'try out an area' would be too big a financial risk. If I knew of a few really likely areas, I wouldn't mind selling up and renting for 6 months to see how things went before buying. But where do I start? The UK's a big place! Any ideas would be welcome.

8 Replies

  • Very good question/topic. Have you tried searching the internet? or maybe get in touch with AUK.

    My personal experience is that nowhere is good for me!! I was born in a seaside town and asthma was completely out of control. My family relocated to a hot country when I was 3, partly for my father's work and also because doctors recommended it for my chest - it made no difference and so we moved back a year later.

    Since then I have lived in a city, then in various towns, and now in the countryside. I have been ill in all places. The countryside is particularly bad for me and my son, because of all the pollen. But I dont think I could face moving again...

  • This is so difficult to answer because we are all so different. I have lived in towns situated deep in the valleys between mountains, have been poorly, I now live in a small urban city and find my Asthma is affected sometimes by air pollution, for example if the fog is down and car fumes cannot escape then I suffer. I have stayed by the sea for a week at a time and felt marvellous, but this so easily have been consequence because I have enjoyed periods of good health living in my now home of suburbia. I have heard of some people moving to dry warm conditions abroad and their health has improved long term. If you are in the lucky position to be able to up and leave your current home, and try somewhere else well give it a try. I believe Asthma is also influenced by your own personal living space, and there may be factors within the home that influence your condition, I certainly find this to be my own personal experience. Keeping my home warm but well aired, and any damp under control, plus good management of housework measures, ie: no air fresheners or lots of toxic household cleaners is as important to my health as anything. Sometimes despite all of these measures there will be times when I am unwell, and I don't think personally moving will make a huge amount of difference to me.

  • I think on balance that sea is best for me. It really depends on what your triggers are, but one thing I discovered once was to ask the people who you are thinking of buying from why they are moving. Sometimes you get an honest answer. We were going to move to Hampshire a few years ago and after we viewed his house I asked one chap why they were moving and he said that he was moving because of his asthma!! Needless to say we didn't move there. I discovered later that there is a well known local fog, but you really need to do your homework. One other thing, research the local medical facilities. I think your idea of renting for 6 months is a really good idea if you can afford to do it. Best of Luck.

  • I used to live in Birmingham and can feel the difference in my chest when I visited.

    Though I think depends on what triggers you for example if allergic to pollon then crountryside might not be best.

    The sea air with the salt used to be used as a treatment

  • I think some people will be different to others but Ive always felt tons better next to the sea. However, winter by the sea isnt too great. I reakon we shouls all move to a nice tropical island somewhere! xx

  • I think the idea of renting is very sensible. I was unlucky & developed asthma when I started at Uni in a big town having previously lived in a small village. I too am better near the sea but have been told it's not just the change in environment that helps improve my breathing but the fact I'm escaping from all the stresses of normal life. On holiday I seem to relax more, sleep better & generally take better care of myself then at home.

    Currently I live on the outskirts of a large city & my chest is finally recovering after a bad spell of nearly 6 years. Moving wouldn't have helped because most of my triggers were emotional or related to infections. Not wishing to offend anyone but I always thought areas with a large elderly population would probably be good for asthmatics as many of them have respiratory issues.

    Good luck & let us all know if you find the ideal area. Maybe buy a hotel so we can all come & visit!

  • I have moved about 3 years ago from semi rural (built up area but on the edge of a lot of open space, greenbelt and farm land) to very urban now and my chest is a lot worse. Except for when I am in my second home - south Wales (Llanthony Valley near Abergavenny) where there is very little pollution and I hardly ever have trouble there even when I am active and horse riding (most weekends in the summer months). Its a very individual thing I guess, depending on what your triggers are. The house in the semi rural location will be up for rent in the next few weeks if you are interested! PM me for more information if you are serious. Its in the West Midlands, 15 miles north of Birmingham.


  • The Far North!!


    i dont comment much on the discussion boards just read them and reply occasionally.

    I used to live in the far north of Scotland by which i mean 20miles south east of John O'Groats and i had not one probem with my asthma....a far cry from what its like now :S i am quite sure that its probably further than u are willing to travel LOL but i found that living on the north coast there was less extreme weather - less frost, less humid less weather types that affect asthma (we had wind instead :P )

    i know that its not much help to you but different people respond differently to different places and what suits one might not suit another....maybe you may just have to take a chance, be adventrous :)

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