News & Media

29 March 2016

Managing your health on days with smoke haze

Smoke from fires, whether it’s a controlled burn or bushfires, can affect your health.

Smoke from fires, whether it’s a controlled burn or bushfires, can affect your health.

Smoke can contain many different substances, which can cause short term symptoms including itchy eyes, sore throat, runny nose and coughing.

However, people with existing medical conditions including asthma might experience other symptoms such as wheezing or tightness in the chest.

Other high risk groups who might be more sensitive to the effects of smoke include those with heart or lung conditions, children, pregnant women and older people aged 65 years.

If you are not under threat from a fire, you should avoid breathing smoke by staying inside with the doors and windows closed.

On days with smoke haze, you should also check for fire warnings in your area, avoid physical activity outside and follow your treatment plan if you have a heart or lung condition.

In the event of an emergency, you should phone 000 or see a doctor.

For more information about what to do on a day of smoke haze, visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov. au/health/healthyliving/bushfiresmoke

If you need longer-term assistance with your breathing issues,
including asthma and COPD, Latrobe Community Health Service has a respiratory clinical nurse consultant service.

The respiratory nurse can also help you develop an action plan for your
breathing condition or help you quit smoking. Phone 1800 242 696
for more information.