Tips For Protecting Yourself In Wildfire Smoke

Dr. Julie

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McMinnville and its surrounding area is immersed in ash and haze from wildfire smoke.  Because of this our air quality is poor, and our Air Quality Index is 178, or Unhealthy.


  • Stay indoors: Do not go out unless you must.  If you have to go out, keep your car AC on and windows up.
  • Do not exercise outside: You might never hear me say this again :), but exercising or exerting yourself outside during Unhealthy air quality is not a good idea.  Rely on that yoga DVD or give yourself the day off.
  • Children and older adults are the most susceptible to poor air quality, so check on them and if at all possible keep them inside.
  • If you have a lung or heart condition keep your medication near you and check in with your doc for specific instructions.  If possible, sftay inside.
  • At home, keep your windows closed and do not vacuum.   Vacuuming can increase dust in the air and further lower air quality.  If you have AC, keep it on.
  • Do not rely on dust masks, because they will not protect you from wildfire ash.  Your best filter from external toxins is your nose; your nose has hairs which filter particles, and it produces mucus for future filtering.  Thus, if you go outside, make sure you breathe through your nose.  You can wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth for an extra layer of protection.
  • Take a shower at night to rinse off any ash and other allergens that you might have acquired during the day.
  • Sleep with your windows closed.
  • Stay hydrated.

The Center For Disease Control is a good resource.

Remember, if you have a lung or heart condition or become symptomatic call your doctor ASAP. Dr. Amanda and I have availability and are well equipped to help you stay healthy during Unhealthy breathing conditions.  Call us at 503 472-5500 today for an appointment.


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