Publications - Information

Your Health First: How is the poor air quality affecting daily routines?

How is the poor air quality affecting daily routines?

People across the state are feeling the effects of the poor air quality. We learned how people are coping with it, and what you should do to maintain your health during this time. As days go by, people are beginning to notice something different in their daily lives the smoky air they are breathing in.

“It’s concerning for my grandparents as well as family that has asthma and everything. Kind of makes us feel like a little harder to breathe,” shared Lyriq Price.

“It’s continuing to get worse and worse and I don’t think I ever really paid attention to the air quality until now. And just seeing on the weather app just how it’s really been unhealthy for the last couple weeks,” shared Samantha Holly.

Both ladies say the conditions are affecting their lifestyles and they’ve had to make adjustments to their daily routines. “We’re mainly trying to stay inside and we’re just trying to just pray for the best,” explained Price. “I’m actually training for the half marathon and so it’s kind of been detrimental because I typically train in the evenings after work. I guess the precaution I’ve been taking is just not being able to run outside just because I have a few times has been kind of noticeable just with extra coughing and sore throat and stuff like that,” explained Holly.

How long will smoky skies last? As air quality conditions continue to not improve, people are realizing how serious it is. Medical professionals are urging people to take the necessary precautions.

“I think that the heat with the humidity and the heat in the air too, in combination with the particulate matter, the pollution that’s we’ve been seeing, I think it seems like we’ve probably have seen more respiratory type issues and shortness of breath cases here in the emergency department,” explained Dr. Benji Kitagawa, an emergency medicine physician with CHI St. Alexius. Dr. Kitagawa says checking the air quality index is a huge help in determining what you could handle that day. “I think people just need to be cautious. I mean generally healthy people again in the orange category may not feel as good when they’re outside, but definitely, the ones that have any lung disease. Those will be kind of high-risk people,” said Kitagawa.

Dr. Kitagawa says he has seen a couple of post-COVID patients who developed lung disease after their illness. He says this could be triggered by the current poor air quality.

Reporting by Nikiya Carrero

To see video story CLICK