According to news reports, wildfires continue to spread to most of some states, making it increasingly difficult for residents of the West Coast of the United States to breathe.
“Because of the strong winds in the area involved, you can be exposed to wildfire smoke, even if you are hundreds of miles away from the actual fire,” said Mayo Clinic Division of Prevention, a respiratory specialist. The profession, Dr. Clayton Cowl, said. And aerospace medicine.
Wildfire smoke contains many respiratory irritants, including: Particulate matter, Hydrocarbons and others Organic chemicals, Dr. Cowl probably has the biggest health risk Ultrafine particles It can be inhaled deep into the lungs.
Unfortunately, using a standard paper dust mask, perhaps better than nothing, does not completely protect the airways from most particulate matter floating in the air.
These particles can cause stuffy nose, puncture eyes, and burns, but they can also worsen the respiratory status of people with chronic heart and lung disease.
“most Vulnerable population “It includes the elderly, children, pregnant women, and patients with chronic lung and heart disease,” said Dr. Arveen Bhasin, an allergist at the Mayo Clinic. throat. “
According to Dr. Cowl, all types of smoke inhalation, from cigarettes to campfires, have common characteristics. You are breathing air from flammable products. He says wildfires consume plants, houses, plastic building structures, and other products that release thousands of aerial chemicals. “Some of these chemicals are highly toxic, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and chlorine-based compounds,” says Dr. Cowl.
Dr. Versin recommends that people stay indoors with windows and doors closed, both at home and in cars. ” Air conditioner “Recirculate clean air and avoid cigarette smoke and vapors. Do not burn anything in your house, such as wood, gas stoves, or candles,” said Dr. Versin.
Dr. Cowl agrees that air purifiers can be considered as well as personal respiratory protection. He says the best types of air purifiers are those with highly efficient particulate air filters. “The use of ozone or ionic air purifiers is generally not recommended for protection from wildfire smoke, as it provides minimal protection from very low temperatures. Small particles It is released and is called ultrafine particles less than 0.3 microns in diameter, “says Dr. Cowl.
Dr. Basin reminds people that it is important to take the medicine as prescribed and have supplements available.
Please note the regional air quality report. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, it is important to look for a medical institution.
“Maintaining proper oral hydration with drinking water and other liquids maintains the function of cilia, the fine broom-like cells of the airways that help clear particulate contaminants inhaled from the environment. It’s also important to do this, “adds Dr. Cowl.
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