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Peace Health sees influx in patients due to air quality

Smoke in Eugene on Monday, August 28, 2017. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore.-The air quality is the worst we have seen this summer, according to the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

The smoky air is raising health issues for many people in Lane County, and an influx of patients going in an out of doctors offices is taking place.

The air quality hasn't only triggered health issues for people with chronic illness, but also people who never thought they would be affected.

Melanie Wayne from the Oregon Allergy Associates says it’s been affecting many others.

“Some patients are coming in where they never thought they had asthma or breathing problems,” said Wayne. “We have definitely had an increase in patient call volume, as well as on call calls throughout the week."

The best thing to do is to avoid breathing the contaminated air by staying inside.

"Don’t be exercising outside, the air quality is very poor and there is a lot of particulates and its very irritating for the airway,” said Wayne.

Respiratory specialist, Carol Hardisty, from Peace Health says a person with a chronic illness should know their regular breathing level by using something called a "peak tool."

“Some people with breathing difficulty get so use to where they are at, that they don't know they are getting into trouble,” said Hardisty.

One thing to watch out is to monitor your coughing throughout the day.

“If you find yourself coughing a lot, especially at night, and having a little bit of shortness of breath, make sure that you get checked out,” said Hardisty.

The Oregon Allergy Associates also says the best way to avoid any type of irritation in your airways is to stay well hydrated.

“Stay as hydrated as possible - regular sips of water, even some warm water can help sooth the irritation of the airways - a lozenge or something to help sooth the throat,” said Wayne.

While we live in one of the best place to be outdoors, you might just want to hold off until the skies clear up.

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