Wildfire Smoke: Are You Protecting Your Lungs?

Have you been experiencing headaches, dry eyes, sore throat, cough, worsening asthma, chest pain, or high blood pressure?

Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest have been causing hazardous air quality recently. The small particles in the air get into your lungs and eyes and cause these health problems. Pregnant women, people with preexisting lung or heart disease, people with diabetes, and the young and elderly are more sensitive to the air particles.

Improve air quality in your home:

  • Keep windows and doors closed and stay inside and avoid outdoor physical activity.
  • Run your A/C on recirculate. Make sure your filter is clean!
  • Use a HEPA air purifier or make your own low-cost particulate filter* for your home. Keep one in your bedroom and one in your main living space.
  • Do not use gas stoves, fireplaces, or vacuum as these increase indoor air pollution
  • Wear a N95 or N100 rated mask when outside. If you have preexisting lung or heart disease, ask your doctor before using a mask.

Protect your health with these steps:

  • Eat an organic, whole-foods diet rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Berries, broccoli, onions, garlic contain chemical compounds that help protect your lung tissue
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take antioxidants and anti-inflammatory herbal medicines, especially glutathione and curcumin
  • If you are having trouble breathing, ask your doctor about nebulized glutathione treatments
  • Use the sauna - it protects your cardiovascular and respiratory systems from the hazards of smoke inhalation. Ask your doctor if this therapy is right for you.

Ways to learn more:

*DIY Filter Fan:
This affordable filter fan is an effective way to improve your indoor air quality. Supplies can be purchased from a home improvement store or online. Outdoor air particles infiltrate inside the home, even when windows and doors are closed. Using a filter can significantly improve your indoor air quality:

Source: https://www.pscleanair.org/525/DIY-Air-Filter

20in. box fan
20x20x1in. MERV 13 filter

Tape the MERV13 rated filter to the back of the fan, making sure the arrows on the filter point in the direction of airflow. Plug in and turn on! Enjoy 90% cleaner air in just 15-30 minutes.

About the Author:
Dr. Katherine Carvlin is a naturopathic physician specializing in environmental medicine. She will be joining the ICM team starting in October 2018.  You can read Dr. Carvlin's Bio Here.