Have a look outside and you can’t help but notice the change in air quality. The sea to sky region now has smoke advisory warnings in effect. As of this writing, the BC Air quality Advisory is 10+. The fires south of us in California, Washington and Oregon have created smoke that is moving our way in large quantities.
The smoke from wildfires isn’t always just from natural sources such as trees and plants. The smoke can also be from the homes and items that have burned. Which can include:
With the added smoke in the air, brings health concerns. Long term repeated exposure to smoke may accelerate respiratory issues, cardiovascular disease and progression of atherosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels).
Some pre-existing health conditions that can make things worse when the smoke is around us:
With all this smoke in the air, here are some common effects of smoke exposure that you should watch out for:
As part of the common effects listed above, here are the symptoms that people tend to experience:
To offset the damage and injury, here are the common treatment and prevention strategies:
Kids vs adults – kids rates of breathing are much faster than adults. So they will tend to have more smoke exposure over the same time period.
The good news is that for most of us, after smoke exposure, our lung health tends to normalize within 2-8 weeks. As it seems that the fires in the USA south of us are going to be around for at least a couple weeks, prevention and treatment would be the smart approach short term to minimize any short term or long term issues for you and those you care about.
If you experience any respiratory issues, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
To get in touch with Dr Landon:
Dr Landon McLean is a Naturopathic doctor accepting new patients in Whistler BC