Smoke from the wildfire has several adverse effects on our body. There are small particles in the smoke which end up in the respiratory system. Small parts are carried in the air, which eventually people breathe near the wildfire. Some of the ingredients of smoke are harmful to the body. For example, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, air toxins, volatile organic compounds, and other small particles suspended in smoke can harm the body. There are even some people who are allergic to individual particles which can affect the way the body works. This step-by-step guide will help you to be prepared for the wildfire smoke on the smoky days.
Wildfire and smoke in Southern California – 2018
What is Wildfire Smoke?
Wildfire smoke is caused by a fire which starts in the forest. During dry seasons fire can be started naturally, accidentally or even intentionally by people clearing bushes. The fire gets out of control, where it ends up consuming hundreds of hectares in the forest land. Firefighters try to control the fire, but in most cases, they succeed to put the fire off after it has caused a lot of damage. The smoke produced from the wildfire causes a lot of health complications to people who smoke it.
Health Effects of Wildfire Smoke
There are several health effects associated with wildfire smoke in both adults and kids. You need to check out the effects and stay prepared to avoid the worst from happening. Some of the common wildfire smoke health effects include the following:
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
When you inhale particles from the wildfire smoke, they end up in your lungs. They can get into the bloodstream after which they will affect the way the heart pumps blood. Which can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF). People with blood pressure problems can get their situations worsening if exposed to too much wildfire smoke.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
The fine particles in wildfire smoke can get into your lungs. They will interfere with the way the air from the lung surfaces gets into your bloodstream. It is a condition which can affect your life adversely. People with pulmonary disease symptoms can become worse if exposed to smoke particles. There are different types of particles in smoke which can lead to different effects.
Asthma cases become worse when exposed to particles from wildlife smoke. There are some particles which can expose people to allergies; they tend to make asthma cases worse. The smoke can trigger an asthma attack. You need to take precautionary measures to avoid situations where the smoke can reach high concentration to affect your asthma conditions.
How to Prepare for Wildfire Smoke: Step-by-Step Guide
You need to take necessary action and prepare for the wildfire smoke. Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare for the smoke and avoid getting sick from wildfire smoke:
If you see wildfire smoke outside, then the best thing to do is to remain indoors. You can easily control the condition of air indoors rather than outside. A simple dust mask wouldn’t help you on smoky days. It is advisable to remain indoors if there is no danger of fire nearby.
Switch on Air Purifiers
Your home air purifiers are very helpful in lowering the levels of toxic particles in the air. Switch your air purifier on and close the windows. Only let in air through the purifiers so that the toxic particle can be filtered out. A high CFM HEPA air purifier with a thick layer of activated carbon filter would help you to remove smoke and the odor from indoor.
Avoid Air Pollutions in Your House
After you close the windows and switch on the air purifiers, you need to keep the air inside your home clean. Avoid using charcoal-burning stoves or cigarettes which can lead to the addition of more particles in your room.
Have Your Asthma Medication Nearby
Cases of asthma can worsen if there is a lot of wildfire smoke. You need to have a stock of your asthma medication nearby. Ensure you follow the doctor’s prescription if the asthma case worsens. It is also necessary to call your doctor in case the situation becomes worse with your asthma.
Drink Enough Water
When you are exposed to wildfire smoke, the fine particles end up in your lungs. They then get absorbed into the bloodstream. You need to drink enough water to flush out the toxins. You should as well increase your intake of hot liquids. They are helpful in encouraging the movement of mucus and saliva, which help counter the effects of the smoke.
Apply Saline Nasal Spray
Smoke inhalation and cause irritated sinuses, irritation of the eyes, and even shortness of breath. You need to apply the saline nasal spray, and it will play a great role in helping you manage the issue of irritations. The nasal spray plays excellent role in expelling the foreign particles from your nose and eyes.
Use a Neti Pot to Rinse
Foreign particles can easily get trapped in your nose, and the best way to get them off is through a nasal spray. A Neti pot is highly effective in removing the congestion from your nasal passages. Apply a Neti pot, and you will quickly improve symptoms such as dry nasal passage, sneezing, and coughing.
Breathe Steam of Thyme
You can easily control the effects of wildfire smoke through breathing through thyme. It is an effective way you can apply to get rid of viruses and fungus infection on your respiratory system due to inhaling smoke from a wildfire.
Protect from Wildfire Smoke FAQs:
Q. What should I do in case of wildfire smoke in my home?
A. You need to remain indoors and switch on your air purifier. Avoid too much exposure to the smoke.
Q. What if one of my family members is asthmatic?
A. Ensure the medication is available. You can as well reach your doctor in case the situation becomes worse.
Q. Is wildfire smoke dangerous?
A. The smoke can be fatal if you do not handle the situation well. It comes with fine particles which can enter your body. Ensure you take precautionary measures to avoid too much exposure to the smoke.
Q. What if the authority asks me to leave my home where I’m shielding from wildfire smoke?
A. You need to follow the direction of the local authorities. You may remain indoors, and the wildfire catches up with you.
You need to prepare for wildfire smoke well. Ensure you have taken safety measures to avoid too much exposure of the wildfire smoke to your loved ones.