Not Just Blowing Smoke
Having trouble catching your breath these days? I have asthma, and I’ve learned that it’s up to me to do whatever it takes to get through each day as best I can. That includes monitoring the smoke in the air from the Canadian wildfires so I can limit the effect it has on my breathing.
The Air Quality Index is a way to know what the situation is locally that might have an adverse effect on breathing. Watch your phone for alerts on air quality and if it’s bad, stay inside. Turn on the air circulation system in your car so you are not feeding fresh air inside while you drive. Roll the windows up and use the air conditioning to keep the air breathable and use an air cleaner when you’re home.
By going to AirNow.gov you can learn what the air quality is in your local area. On the days the air quality is bad, you might want to use an N95 face mask if you’re going to be outdoors for an extended amount of time. It will filter out any ash particles. Apparently, surgical masks and cloth masks can’t filter out the particulate matter from the fires.
Consider creating a written asthma action plan so that you have a way of controlling your asthma on days when air quality is at its’ worst. Use an air cleaner in the house and keep your windows closed on bad days. While it’s no fun having allergies and being forced to breath smoke-filled air when you go outside, following these steps will help you breathe easier.
If you’d like more information on creating an asthma action plan, please contact Disability Network Lakeshore at 616-396-5326.