Bushfire in South West prompts warning from respiratory expert - Institute for Respiratory Health

Bushfire in South West prompts warning from respiratory expert

Wednesday, December 08, 2021 | News

With bushfires burning in the Boranup Forest region in the South West, a respiratory expert is urging people with lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema and vulnerable people to limit their smoke exposure.

Associate Professor Yuben Moodley from the Institute for Respiratory Health said: “Smoke may aggravate existing lung conditions and cause irritated eyes, coughing and shortness of breath.

“But children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart disease also need to be cautious.”

Symptoms related to smoke exposure include:  coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, chest pains, sneezing, runny nose and allergic symptoms.

“People considered at risk should remain indoors and avoid inhalation of smoke. They should also shut all doors and windows,” said Associate Professor Moodley.

“Those with a lung condition that is unstable or symptomatic should take extra precautions and contact their doctor if their condition deteriorates.”

Associate Professor Yuben Moodley said symptoms can occur for several days after smoke is inhaled, so people with chronic respiratory conditions need to be vigilant with their treatment programs.

He also advises to:

  • Keep windows and vents closed when driving in smoky areas.
  • Limit outdoors exercise, or avoid it completely. Especially if you can smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.

Photo credit – Candice Vooles