RENO, NV - As the air quality in the Truckee Meadows drops to a rating of "Unhealthy" you may begin experiencing some physical symptoms. Doctors say it's important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Friday, The few people who dared to exercise at Sparks Marina say they could definitely feel the smoky air affecting their bodies.
We talked to Dr Kevin Brown at Northern Nevada Medical Center, who says their Emergency Department has been seeing an increased number of visitors since Thursday. "It can become dangerous if you get the signs of the wheezing and the chest tightness as an asthmatic would experience," says Brown "that would be the time you need to come to the emergency room and get treatment." He says, in addition to causing problems for sensitive patients, the choking smoke can reveal health problems you may not previously been aware of. Dr Brown says most people coming to the ER right now have shortness of breath or wheezing.
Those are symptoms of a serious health problem. Most people will experience irritation like, watery eyes, stuffy sinuses, headache and sore throat. Dr Brown says a feeling similar to heartburn can also be caused by the contaminated air as the fine ash gets into your bronchial tubes, causing irritation. Many people try to treat these symptoms with over-the-counter medications, but Dr. Brown says they aren't designed to treat smoke exposure and may not be completely effective.