Tips on Staying Healthy During Smoky Conditions - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Tips on Staying Healthy During Smoky Conditions

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"If you smell the smoke, it's probably affecting you.  Some of the symptoms would be watery eyes, scratchy throat, some coughing, some wheezing,” says Daniel Inouye.

Inouye is with the Washoe County Health District, and says the best thing to do is pay attention to how your body is reacting, because the air quality readings - taken at monitoring stations throughout Northern Nevada  - can change as quickly as the direction of the wind.

Pediatric Pulmonologist, Dr. Sonia Budhecha says all of us should take the air quality warnings seriously.

“It can be very serious especially for the younger children who have underlying lung disease like asthma, for the elderly and for all of us who are actually trying to do any outdoor activities.”

Dr. Budhecha says the real problem is the tiny particles in the smoke - ones we can't often smell and are too microscopic to see “…and actually get trapped in the lungs and can actually get absorbed into the bloodstream.”

For a healthy child or adult, those nasty little particles will naturally make their way out of the bloodstream in about two weeks, but, “If you're on medication already, like asthma medications, please be very good about them.  Use your as needed medications,  keep taking your daily preventative medications.”

That will help reduce the inflammation in your lungs. 

And for those without any underlying conditions - “Reduce or eliminate strenuous activities, stay indoors with the windows closed, air conditioners on if possible and drink plenty of fluids” says Inouye.

Those fluids help by flushing the toxins out of your system, but if staying indoors is not possible, Dr. Budhecha tells us there is one more option - N95 respirator masks do block some of the actual particulates in the air. These respirators are available at most hardware stores. 

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