Many people will breathe and not think twice about doing so. But for those with asthma or other respiratory issues, breathing can be difficult, especially in hazy air conditions.
“So if you're out breathing the air and doing vigorous activity and exercises and it feels different than normal, your body is telling you to slow down," said Dr. Caleb Wilson of Wyoming Otolaryngology.
Even those that don't suffer from any breathing problems can still have health effects when exposed to long periods of haze.
"If you don't have to be outside, don't. Don't risk a potential exposure of too much of anything,” said Dr. Andy Dunn, Medical Director of MESA/SAGE Primary Care. “Whether it's an allergen or pollutant like with the haze, which has an excess of that, staying indoors is your best bet.”
Haze is more difficult to see in confined areas. When it is present: lungs, heart, and even eyes can be affected. Even though days like we have today might be tempting to enjoy some outdoor recreation, experts advise to check the air quality index and to stay indoors until it's healthy enough for you. However, staying indoors isn't the only concern that people with respiratory problems should have.
“Sometimes you let medications lapse; you haven't filled it for a couple weeks. So it puts us a little bit behind the 8-ball on where our condition currently is,” said Dunn. “So if we add just one insult to that condition, it could be catastrophic."
In the event that conditions worsen for people with breathing problems, doctors recommend seeking help immediately.
"If you're becoming excessively short of breath, wheezy, coughing and you're starting to go down a pretty insidious course, get right to the hospital. One thing you don't want to mess with is your respiratory system,” advised Dunn.
"Just be careful. Let common sense be your guide,” claimed Wilson. “If you're finding you're having difficulty breathing for sure, you need to cut back on the activities. Get indoors. Use your medicines. And if you have to, seek treatment."
Both doctors stressed to keep medications up to date and filled, check air quality if you are planning to spend longer periods outside, and that everyone can be affected by haze in various degrees.