NorthShore’s online source for timely health and wellness news, inspiring patient stories and tips to lead a healthy life.
With the wildfires in Canada, many of us have noticed a change in the air. The cold front most likely allowed the smoke to be transported - causing us to see haze and smell smoke. If you have asthma or respiratory problems, you may notice that symptoms get worse when the air is polluted. It is important to take note when Air Quality Alerts are issued – especially in big cities like Chicago where high pollution levels and hot weather can trigger asthma attacks.
Two key air pollutants can affect asthma. Ozone – which is found in smog – is worse on hot summer days in the afternoon and evenings. Particle pollution – which can happen year round – is usually high near busy roads, during rush hour or when there is smoke in the air from wood stoves, fireplaces or burning vegetation.
Jennifer S. Kim, MD, Allergy & Immunology, says pollution can cause coughing, wheezing, chest discomfort and a burning feeling in the lungs. You can fend off problems by knowing when air pollution is high and following these tips:
How do you prepare yourself on days with high pollution?