Almost half of vulnerable patients said the threat of toxic air prevents them from exercising outdoors. About 25 percent said pollution made them feel depressed and one in six said it sometimes stops them seeing friends and family.
One in 10 revealed they had moved house to escape polluted areas.
The research was released by charity Asthma + Lung UK, with 1,000 people surveyed ahead of Clean Air Day on Thursday.
Leon Pennington, 73, said: “Since being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2017, I’m trapped in my home.
“On school days when there’s lots of traffic, I dare not open the window or go outside or I’m left coughing and choking. It’s frightening.”