Air Quality in Australia

Australia is currently battling the worst bush fires ever seen, causing poor air quality across populated areas of the country, in particular NSW. Poor air quality can have a number of effects on our health, it is important to ensure that people stay safe and know how to protect themselves.

Symptoms of poor air quality include:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Asthma and other respiratory conditions; and
  • Effects on the heart and cardiovascular system.

Breathing unsafe air for long periods of time can also lead to more serious health problems which is why it is important to stay safe. In circumstances such as the bushfires, even healthy people can experience breathing issues. However, those who are most sensitive are children, the elderly and smokers.

Individuals with asthma can also see exacerbated symptoms for example difficulty breathing and tightness in their chest. The conditions in Sydney have led to a 10% increase in hospital admissions, with paramedics treating hundreds of patients for breathing problems.

Here are some effective tips to keep you and your family safe from potential dangers of poor air quality:

  • Check the air quality forecasts in your area and stay informed. This can be done using the following website: http://aqicn.org/map/australia/
  • Stay inside and seek out buildings with filtered air.
  • Wear special face masks (also referred to as respirators). These masks can provide protection from the microscopic particles in smoke that can damage the lungs.
  • If smoke or haze makes its way indoors, run your air conditioner to try and keep out the worst of the pollution
  • Avoid outdoor exercise
  • Keep hydrated!

If you have any concerns regarding asthma or issues relating to the quality of the air that you or your family are breathing, book a video consultation with one of our excellent GPs online. We have doctors available 24/7 and are accessible across Australia through your mobile, laptop or smart device.

#accessiblehealthcare #doctorsondemand #telehealth

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