Health Tip: Breathing Polluted Air

-- When the air you breathe is polluted, it can cause symptoms such as labored breathing; irritated eyes, nose and throat; burning of the eyes; cough; and tightness in the chest.

To minimize these side effects of air pollution -- especially if you have heart or lung disease -- the American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions:

  • When pollution levels are high, stay inside as much as possible.
  • If you must engage in outdoor activities, try to schedule them first thing in the morning or in the evening, after sunset.
  • When air quality is poor, don't exercise outdoors.
  • Avoid any outdoor activities that require you to exert yourself. Taking in more air also means breathing in additional pollutants.

Posted: October 2008


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