Prolonged exposure to smoke can be harmful to people of all ages, depending on the AQI reading as a measure of smoke density. Smoke can eventually damage your body’s ability to remove large particles and excess phlegm from your lungs and airway. Small particles (PM 2.5) pose the greatest risk, because they can get deep into your lungs, and even into your bloodstream.
Many factors influence a person’s sensitivity to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. Your health and the health of your family are important. There are things you can do to minimize the impacts of smoke on you and your family.
Smoke is made up primarily of small particles, gases, and water vapor. These particles can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, damaging lung tissue and causing respiratory and cardiovascular problems.
Regardless of the source, smoke is a form of air pollution that can pose a health risk. Symptoms of smoke exposure usually include irritation of eyes, nose, and throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, fatigue, or breathing discomfort, even in otherwise healthy people.
More severe symptoms may include chest tightness, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, lung irritation, wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.
Take precautions at appropriate AQI level if you are in a sensitive group:
Get the latest air quality data from the Oregon Smoke Information blog.
If you feel impacted by smoke, avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. Contact your medical provider if you experience serious health problems caused by smoke. Anyone experiencing symptoms or with a known or suspected medical condition that could be worsened by smoke should contact their healthcare provider for further advice or call 911 if warranted.
The material contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The information on this website is NOT intended to diagnose, treat or substitute for professional medical advice. Those with medical conditions or sensitivities to smoke should seek the advice of a licensed medical provider. If more information is needed, consult a medical professional.