Hospital employee gives tips on how to prevent too much smoke exposure

Hospital employee gives tips on how to prevent too much smoke exposure

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - If you woke up Tuesday morning to smell the fresh breeze, you probably smelled a smoky and ashy scent in the air this morning.

But what does this mean for you when you see haziness? Medical professionals say this can affect people with COPD and asthma.

"The smoke causes the issue, it causes the reactive airways, it causes coughing and many other things in the lungs for those who have lung conditions," said Pulmonary Patient Educator Timothy Marquez with Medical Center Hospital.

If you smell smoke in the air, first, check with your doctor to see if you need to up your medications, especially if you have a rescue inhaler.
If you can, avoid exposing yourself to the smoky air, especially with children.

"For children, stay indoors, otherwise you'll be in for an ER visit, or follow up with your physician quite quickly," said Marquez. "Stay indoors as much as possible, if you have to absolutely go outside, you might want to purchase an N95 respiratory mask."

Experts say if you start to see or smell smoke like you did Tuesday, you can get a procedure mask. However, getting an N95 surgical mask can filter out 95% of airborne particles.

But it's not only for those with asthma or COPD. Even if you don't have respiratory problems, notice any signs after smoke exposure.

"It will affect those who even have healthy lungs," said Marquez. "It also plays a factor with allergies, if you have seasonal or severe allergies, it will send you over the hump there to have symptoms of those allergies."

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