Hazy days: Breathe easy with UW doctor’s tips
A Seattle native and pulmonologist at the University of Washington says he’s never seen anything like the smoke and ash that’s settled over Western Washington.
Dr. Joshua Benditt says you should consider wearing a mask if you plan on doing any strenuous activities – even carrying groceries – while outdoors. At least until the worst of the smoke has cleared.
The National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for Western Washington through Wednesday afternoon. Children, the elderly and people with respiratory illnesses are the most at risk.
Benditt said it’s especially difficult for patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other kinds of lung diseases.
“It can cause coughing and wheezing, and actually, respiratory failure,” Benditt said.
He recommends to his patients that they have their medications nearby and use their rescue inhalers as needed. He’s even suggesting to his friends that they don’t exercise until the worst has passed.
“When you exercise, you increase your ventilation – the amount of breath you’re taking in,” Benditt said. “And every time, there will be particulates coming in with that.”
If you really must, try to exercise indoors.