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Saving your lungs from wildfire smoke | Health Beat with Brea Love

When the air quality gets poor, people could experience symptoms signaling unsafe air.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When the air quality gets poor, we could all experience symptoms signaling unsafe air.

People who are high-risk, like children, the elderly and those with heart and lung disease, will feel it first. Typically, symptoms include shortness of breath and a runny nose.

If you start to feel these symptoms, it's time to get inside and out of the bad air.

“Nobody wants to be inside now that we’re coming out of the pandemic, but unfortunately when wildfire smoke gets that bad in the area, you need to avoid it,” Dr. Nick Kenyon with UC Davis Health said. "We have to stay indoors, we have to close the windows and run our air conditioning and avoid being outside and doing the things we like to do.”

Staying inside to avoid the poor-quality air will mean no outdoor exercise for people. Kenyon said that if people must go outside, using an N-95 mask is the safest option.

He said since 2017 he’s seen more and more patients complaining about these types symptoms, and that it's really picked up in the last three years. Dr. Kenyon said experts will have to study the long-term effects of smoke on people and the lungs since we’re getting more and more exposed to it summer after summer as wildfire season gets worse.

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