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Caring for your Lungs - Bushfires & Smoky Air

Posted by Eqphysio on 20 December 2019
Caring for your Lungs - Bushfires & Smoky Air

The lung's main role is to get oxygen from the air we breathe and transfer it to the red cells in the blood. The red blood cells then carry oxygen throughout the body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the lungs to be a "delicate organ". The lungs do not like conditions which are too moist or too dry, too cold or too hot, and the lungs are very vulnerable to environmental influences including; pollen, pollution and smoke.

Dry, hot summers are of concern because it brings bushfires and smoky air. Smoke affects everyone's health and breathing, by constricting the upper airways. It also causes eyes and throat irritation, sinus congestion, headaches, especially for people who already have a respiratory condition like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Do masks protect you from the smoky air?

The particles from bushfires smoke are very thin and while paper and cloth masks can in some cases prevent the spread of infections, they don't filter well enough to protect you against smoke from bushfires.

Dr. Christine Cowie, an environmental epidemiologist and an expert from the Centre for Air Pollution, said P2 mask (make sure it will filter out PM2.5), the one worn by builders and sold in hardware stores, is the most effective, but it has to fit properly around your face. It is necessary for you to try the mask just like you would when shopping for clothes. If it is not a good fit, smoke still will be inhaled.

However, Dr. Cowie emphasizes that masks are not the best protection against smoky air. When air quality is low, avoiding exposure to it as much as possible is best.


7 tips to help avoid or reduce bushfire smoke inhalation:

  1. Check daily air pollution forecasts in your area.

  2. Avoid exercising outdoors.

  3. Take extra care with children as they are more vulnerable than adults.

  4. Take extra care of the elderly as they are more likely to have heart and lung conditions and therefore more susceptible to smoke.

  5. Make sure your medication is up to date and filled, especially people with asthma or COPD.

  6. Keep your windows closed while driving.

  7. When using air conditioning in the car, recirculate the air.


How can we help?

Acupuncture may help promote lung health and also alleviate eye and throat irritation, headaches and sinus congestion. Cupping may help to promote oxygenation of the tissues and relax muscles' tension.

At Equilibrium Physiotherapy, we offer Acupuncture and Cupping combined.

For more information on how we can help you please contact our practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine on:

Phone: 9553 8145
Or if you're in the area, drop on by and have a chat with us to see if we can help in any way. We're located at 1/45 Montgomery St, Kogarah NSW 2217.



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