Bush fires, volcanic eruptions and asthma

This photo was taken by my son in Sydney. The bush fires are still raging over there. Here in New Zealand, just today, there’s a bush fire on Mangere Mountain and a volcanic eruption on White Island near the Bay of Plenty last Monday. These incidents would be releasing a lot of smoke, chemicals and particulates into the air and may trigger asthma. Here are a few tips to help avoid an asthma exacerbation if you are in the affected areas:

  1. Stay indoors as much as possible and keep your windows closed.
  2. Use an air conditioner or air purifier indoors or when travelling in your car.
  3. If you have to be outdoors, use a dust mask.
  4. Breathe in and out through your nose. Your nose is an excellent filter! Keep your mouth closed, lips together.
  5. Breathe gently and calmly. Breathing small and slow helps, to reduce your exposure to the pollutants by as much as 70% by reducing the amount of air (and thus, the pollutants as well) you are breathing in.