LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Wildfire smoke from Canada is making its way across the United States, finally making its way close to home on Thursday.
Louisville Metro has been placed under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert, meaning the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups. The alert is in effect through Friday.
Health officials state people who may have respiratory problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, may be affected by the amount of smoke in the air.
People may feel irritation in their eyes, nose, throat and lungs and may face increased risk of respiratory infection.
“We’re seeing patients we would normally see this time of year,” Dr. Wes Sublett, Family Allergy and Asthma Director of Clinical Research said. “But there’s patients we normally take care of and their symptoms are increased because of the fine particulate pollution.”
Sublett said there is a cumulative affect to breathing the smoke and he expects to see more patients experiencing problems in the days to come.
“It’s not great outside right now,” severe asthma patient Ty Adams said. “Typically, it just makes it a little harder to breathe.” To protect his health, Adams said he is staying indoors.
He has given up mowing and walking his dogs until the air clears.
Rachel Keith with UofL Health said people may want to limit their time outdoors or keep an inhaler nearby if they are in a more sensitive group.
“People with respiratory disease can tell when it’s impacting them in a way that they need their rescue inhaler or more of their treatments,” Keith said. “If you do what you typically do and it’s not helping you, and are having air hunger and an asthma attack, seek treatment. Also watch for signs and symptoms of a heart attack.”
Long-term exposure to air pollution is also associated with several chronic health conditions.
Any N-95 masks people may have can also help limit exposure to air particles that can cause inflammation.
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