Unhealthy Air Rating has Everyone Wanting Breath of Fresh Air
LEWISTON, ID —
Thursday air quality continued to worsen, leaving everyone wishing for a breath of fresh air.
Air quality was listed as unhealthy, meaning everyone could start to feel the effects.
Those with respiratory illnesses like COPD or asthma may have been suffering the past few weeks, but Dr. Lawrence Garges with the Tri-State Allergy and Asthma Clinic says he's been seeing even more people coming into his office as those with normal lung function can start to feel the effects of the smoke.
He says those with severe respiratory issues should stay inside as much as possible and should wear a mask if the smoke is really causing them problems.
But not just any mask will do.
Dr. Garges says, "Paint type masks that you can buy doesn't do very much because it doesn't fit very well on your face. And the standard is that it says N-95. This particular kind is it has a little flap in the front so that it lets you breathe out."
Dr. Garges says to look for masks labeled N-95 or higher, as they're rated to block out smaller particles often found in fire smoke.
These masks are widely available online and are sold in some hardware stores.
Dr. Garges says one good thing about this is more people who have undiagnosed respiratory problems are coming in and finding out they've had underlying conditions all along.