When it's smokey in the valley do you have problems breathing? Eyes burn?
If you have breathing problems or are bothered by smoke, this time of year can be a challenge because of wildfires.

CHECK DAILY WITH THE LOCAL AND STATE WEBSITES FOR AIR INFORMATION

The Yakima Health District says if you suffer from breathing problems you need to check the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Monitoring website which has a map of air quality statewide at https://ecology.wa.gov/Air-Climate/Air-quality
The map uses color-coded categories to report when air quality is good, moderate or unhealthy. Also check the local website to get air information in Yakima at https://www.yakimacleanair.org/air-quality/

HAVE A SORE THROAT? BURNING EYES? HEADACHE?

District officials say breathing in wildfire smoke can impact your health and have serious effects. The symptoms include sore throat, headaches, burning eyes, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. The smoke impacts everyone. The Yakima Health District says people at risk for problems include children younger than 18 and adults older than 65, people with heart and lung diseases, people with respiratory illnesses and colds, people who have had a stroke, pregnant women and people who smoke.

LOCAL STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

Health officials say in addition to staying indoor,these additional steps can keep individuals and their families safe from the smoke:

•Close windows and doors when it is smoky outside.

•Improve the filtration of the home’s indoor air: Upgrade home HVAC system filtration to a MERV 13 filter or buy a HEPA portable air cleaner.

•Do not add to indoor air pollution. Avoid burning candles or incense, using essential oil diffusers, smoking inside, or vacuuming.

•Turn the air conditioner in your home and vehicle to recirculate to avoid bringing smoky outdoor air inside.

•Seek indoor shelter or public places with monitored air quality if you cannot improve the quality of air in your home.

•If you cannot keep your home cool on hot, smoky days, utilize public places with air conditioning.

•Choose alternatives to outdoor family activities. If the air quality is unhealthy, choose indoor exercise activities to limit time outdoors. Check air quality conditions before you travel or attend outdoor events.

•Use and properly wear a respiratory mask labeled N95 or N100, if appropriate. People who must be outside for extended periods of time in smoky air may benefit from wearing one of these masks, if worn correctly. These masks are not recommended for children or people with beards.

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