Smoke from fires can be dangerous for everyone. Fortunately, there are steps you can take both before and during smoky days to protect your health.
Wildfire smoke contains small particles that cause problems for your lungs, heart, sinuses and other parts of your body. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of smoke. Sensitive groups include:
If smoke is affecting you, you might have itchy or burning eyes, sore throat, difficulty breathing, sinus congestion, headaches, coughing, or chest plain. If your symptoms are serious, get medical help right away.
Don't wait until there's smoke in the air. Prepare ahead of time for wildfire smoke.
On smoky days, you can take these steps to stay healthy:
The right mask with the proper fit can reduce your exposure to wildfire smoke, but they don't work for everyone. Only use a mask after first trying other more effective ways to avoid smoke, like staying indoors and reducing outdoor activity.
Some masks offer limited protection.
Wearing a mask may worsen existing medical conditions.
Masks must fit tightly.