British Lung Foundation
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AIR QUALITY in Britain - does this exacerbate our breathing problems ?

Have just returned from my usual visit to Sicily - this time for Christmass, blue skies, warm sunshine tea shirts and shorts , and THAT AIR - clear as a bell, within an hour I put all my inhaylers away and barely used them for nearly two weeks. Within 20 minuets of returning to Gatwick Airport and climbing down from the Aircraft, out came the inhaylers and the puffing and spluttering RETURNED ! . Seems to me, the muck we are breathing in , in this country must be appalling to have this effect on breathing. Have asked others who travelled abroad to warmer climes, and ALL say the same thing. Perhaps all of us, if it were possible should emmigrate to warmer climes, and most of our troubles woud be at an end. One curious point, the Security Officers checking contents of bags via x ray machines etc in Sicily were very curious about my "Spiriva Respimat Tiotropium Inhayler and it was taken away to be further examined for a few minuets, Lord above knows what POSSIBLE threat they thought that was to the aircraft !

and lastly folks, getting on a plane is the only way to fly, I'me told, but , you may recall, I have a morbid fear of taking to the skies in these machines, I took, SIX Diasipan pills for each flight, ( was told this would have "Laid out a horse", but had no calming effect on me whatsover - oh dear, another pre flight visit to the Doc is called for I fear.

Happy and healthy New Year folks - Vittorio.

9 Replies

Glad you enjoyed your holiday Vittorio. I am not sure whether it is the air quality or the temperature that makes a difference. I have also noticed my breathing is much better when I am in a warmer climate but that it always gets worse here as the weather gets colder.


Glad you had a great holiday! Well I live in sunny Australia,and believe me the warm temps often make me worse.Possibly because of the humidity as well, I guess.I often look forward to winter,as I am now!!(Its the middle of summer here) Mind you,where we are,the winters aren't realy cold either.

I noticed you said you put your inhalers away for the 2 weeks,hope that didin't include the preventitve ones as well,as they are important to keep up as they dont act straight away.That could be a reason why you were spluttering after 2 weeks.Anyway just a thought!! Cheers Wendells


Vittorio, I wish I could have been there too, or even Italy. I love both places.

Air quality is a big factor. I live somewhere where it is pretty good but when I visit London I can immediately tell a huge difference and have to use my ventolin a lot more. At home, I barely use it once a week.

I do find some parts of Italy a struggle with fumes though (Sorrento, Rome etc) due to all the scooter fumes.

Lynne xx


- Endless thanklies folks for your comments. A pal reading my question suggested a MALLET applied to the head just before "Take Off might solve my fear of flying - Hmm - will think on that !!! -Happy days folks - Vittorio.


4 diazepam would have knocked me out, only trouble is the effect only lasts a couple of hours, I've got a friend who takes 2 before flying, when the flight is delayed they start to wear off, so then she has to take 2 more and so on until the flight - I stay on the ground.

Lib x


Nothing would ever entice me onto a plane again. I never minded flying when I was younger then about 10 years ago I went to Spain on holiday and I was terrified so never again.

Would love to go on a cruise though, just a little one to start with, but don't fancy all the dressing for dinner.

I much prefer the warmer weather, I can breathe much easier, hate the winter cold and winds.



Its not just the crap air that we breathe its the damp and dank atmosphere also. :(

1 like

I'm not sure. I lived in London for many years where there is lots of pollution much of it traffic. I have lived in Torquay (by the seaside) and I haven't really noticed much difference. It is damp here though so maybe that makes up for traffic pollution.

I think abroad is often a dry heat which is supposed to help.

I'm not surprised you had to use your inhaler when you came back. Though don't forget you were at an airport with all the attendant smells and pollution!

If anyone wants to take me abroad with them please do! :)

Bev x


Nice to read some lighter stories with some humour, some of the other ones I find tricky as I get anxious so they do not help me. I have my second teen now on the line for glandular fever, more tests Monday for the second one.

The first teen a healthy 19 year old boy of 6ft 4 has confirmed GF and is having Lung functions tests on Monday, due to possible airway obstruction from Whooping Cough 4 years ago, also the second one had whooping cough at the same time, always in two's in my house .. 2 the same age.. Interesting point, the chest specialists believe that when nursing the two of them with whooping cough I could have developed Bronch, strong connection to whooping cough .

Spent all night doing the Meds last night to try to keep my daughters fever down, quite tired now and as I spent most of the day yesterday at the Dr's so need some light reading before a busy Nursing day ahead again.

Lived in the South of France for 20 years, never really ill there, came back to the UK and every day something new comes along for me it seems.

I do believe the diet and warmer climate is obviously better for people with chest problems.

I am blessed that my support is my Dr's so whenever I need them or call them they are there, truly thankful to the NHS, also come to realize that without doubt the more you ask and with the more basic knowledge we have about our ailments the better the service if that makes sense, keep asking keep the mind open and inquisitive.

Big week ahead in Hospital with one of my teens on Friday in London for 4 days and hoping that I escape as the Dr said the hat trick 3 of us in the house with Glandular Fever .. Not a great time at the moment. Am told that adults usually have the immune system built up against this one, so fingers crossed I escape GF.... Happy New year to you all.


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