Wildfire smoke has several adverse effects on our health. Tiny smoke particles that are carried in the air, which eventually people breathe near the wildfire. Particulate matters and different types of Volatile Organic Compounds are the primary elements of the wildfire smoke. You should be prepared before the wildfire season comes to protect yourself and your family.
This step-by-step guide will help you to get ready for the forthcoming smoky days.
What is Wildfire Smoke?
Wildfire smoke is caused by a fire that 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 in putting the fire off after it has caused a lot of damages. The smoke produced from the wildfire causes a lot of health complications to people who inhale 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 difficulties 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 that can affect your life adversely.
People with Pulmonary disease symptoms can become worse if exposed to smoke particles.
Asthma cases become worse when exposed to particles from wildlife smoke. Some particles can prompt 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 concentrations to affect your asthma conditions.
Prepare for Wildfire Smoke: Step-by-Step Guide
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 indoor air 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
Residential air purifiers are helpful in lowering the levels of toxic particles from the indoor air. Switch your air purifier on and close the windows.
A high CFM air purifier with a deep bed of HEPA filter will remove smoke particles and the odor from indoor efficiently. EPA suggests running the air purifiers on its highest speed settings during the smoky days.
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.
Drink Enough Water
When you are exposed to wildfire smoke, the fine particles end up in your lungs. Then they get absorbed into the bloodstream. You need to drink enough water to flush out the toxins.
You should also increase your consumption of hot liquids. They help encourage the movement of mucus and saliva, which help counter the effects of the smoke.
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.
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 an excellent role in expelling foreign particles from your nose and eyes.
Use a Neti Pot to Rinse
Residues from wildfire smoke 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.
It would be best if you prepared for wildfire smoke well. Ensure you have taken safety measures to avoid too much exposure to the wildfire smoke to your loved ones. Always follow the direction of the local authorities.