A MUM has shared an agonising video of her son in order to warn all parents of the dangers of a common illness.
Ruth Fitzharris' little boy is among the 12 per cent of people in the UK that suffer from asthma.
It's a long-term condition in which the air passages in the lungs become narrow due to inflammation and a tightening of the muscles around the small airways.
The mum, who lives in London with her little boy, has been in and out of hospital with the youngster due to ongoing asthma attacks which she says are triggered by air pollution.
In the video, shared with the BBC, Ruth's little boy is seen laying down on his front as he struggles to breathe.
He is also shown using a breathing tube to support him, as he struggles with another asthma attack.
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The family want to show how pollutants aggravate their son's lungs.
The little boy is now out of hospital after spending 12 days hooked up to machines.
Ruth said: "I think it’s really important that people realise that air pollution has very real health impacts on people.
"We need to see more to bring down the levels of air pollution so that we actually can live and bring up children in a place where the environment is conducive to health and not actually having negative impacts on our health," she said.
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According to Asthma + Lung UK, two thirds of people living with the condition say poor air quality makes their asthma worse.
The experts explain that this is because pollution can quickly irritate the airways and trigger asthma symptoms.
"Some pollution particles are small enough to get right into your lungs.
"Air pollution is a possible risk factor for everyone with asthma, but some people are more at risk, and may be affected by pollution even on moderate or low pollution days," the experts said.
The signs of an asthma attack you need to know
Asthma can sometimes get worse for a short time – this is known as an asthma attack, the NHS states.
This can happen suddenly or over a few days.
Signs of an asthma attack include:
- wheezing, coughing and chest tightness becoming severe and constant
- being too breathless to eat, speak or sleep
- breathing faster
- a fast heartbeat
- drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion or dizziness
- blue lips or fingers
Those at risk include young children with asthma, older people with asthma, people with severe asthma and those who struggle with hayfever.
Ruth, who lives in London is campaigning for ULEZ to be rolled out across the whole city.
The ultra low emissions zone scheme covers all areas within the North and South Circular Roads.
It means there is a daily charge of £12.50 to travel inside the zone and this is set to expand in August this year.
Central London is one of the most polluted places in the UK, according to the London Air Quality Network.
A recent study found that teenagers living in the capital also have higher blood pressure than those living outside of the city.
Researchers at King's College London said girls were more likely to struggle with the issue, which they say is caused by tiny air pollution particles.
Through the campaign Mums for Lungs, Ruth hopes to tackle toxic levels of air pollution.
While air pollution triggers those with asthma, the NHS said most children and adults that have the condition have times when their breathing becomes more difficult.
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The most common symptoms of the condition include wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest and coughing.
See a GP if you think you or your child may have asthma, or you have asthma and are finding it hard to control, the NHS stated.
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