As an individual with lung disease, you may be more sensitive to changes in air quality. Increased levels of ozone, particulate matter, and pollution can affect how short of breath you feel and make it more difficult to breathe. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index used to report the air quality on a day-to-day basis.
The AQI is broken down into six categories:
Good: Air pollution poses little or no risk.
Moderate: Acceptable level of air pollution, but may produce respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals.
Unhealthy for sensitive groups: The general population will most likely not be affected, but people with heart or lung disease may experience health effects.
Unhealthy: Everyone may experience symptoms, while sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Very unhealthy: Everyone may experience more serious health effects; a health alert will be triggered.
Hazardous: The entire population is likely to be affected.