Press & News

How you can protect yourself from the Valley’s polluted air

As fog and haze blanket the Central Valley, pollutants in the air become trapped.

That’s part of what was behind Tuesday’s dangerous air quality.

“The particulate matter got stuck because of the wind pattern burn day and to put the full nail in, we had the fog come in,” said Dr. Praveen Buddiga of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

Buddiga said even though the last 24 hours was severe enough to see an influx of patients, it’s been a busy month.

“We had a mixed bag of season patterns over the last few weeks and that’s caused a lot of respiratory conditions.”

He said patients are having a hard time acclimating to the changing weather, leading to respiratory issues.

“Mostly they were complaining of shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, cough and neck and chest tightness and eyes burning.”

Dr. Clint Pollack from Valley Children’s Hospital said they saw a spike in the number of children visiting the ER.

“It’s a double whammy right now because it’s cold and flu season and we’re also having bad air pollution, and those are the two most common things that cause asthma in kids especially this time of year,” he said.

While children, seniors and those with respiratory issues are most at risk, even those with the healthiest of lungs should limit their activity outdoors.

“When you’re exercising outside and you’re breathing harder you’re moving more of this polluted air in and out of your lungs so that’s why exercise is especially bad,” said Pollack.

If you can’t make it in to see an allergy specialist, nasal rinses should help relieve some of the sinus pressure.

He added that to take care of itchy eyes, go for antihistamine eye drops, not just drops for redness.

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