How are the smoky conditions affecting my health?
Forest fire smoke produces microscopic particles. They can irritate your eyes and respiratory system, causing coughing and trouble breathing, and symptoms similar to a sinus infection, such as headaches, sore throat, a runny nose and even tiredness. If you’re healthy, you’re usually not at a major risk from short-term exposures to smoke. But these fine particles can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD. The Air Quality Index is a scale of 0 to 500; the higher the number, the more pollutants. An AQI of 50 or less is thought to indicate good air quality, while an AQI of greater than 100 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, and unhealthy for everyone when greater than 150. In 2017, Western Nevada County had 81 days when the AQI was over 100, and 19 days when it was over 150.
Should you find yourself having difficulty catching your breath, with an unexplained cough or a flare up of a known health condition, see your doctor or visit an accredited urgent care center such as Yubadocs. We can examine you, test your lung function, diagnose the problem and prescribe or adjust your medications.