Central Oregon wildfires leave smoky air

Doctors warn about dangers of bad air quality

Fire season brings smoky air, health issues

BEND, Ore. - With all of the fires burning in Central Oregon come lots of smoke. For many people living with asthma or any respiratory issues, the heat and smoky conditions can be a dangerous mix.

Doctors say you need to be aware of the dangers of breathing in smoke while going about your daily activities.

Smoke in the air affects the air quality, and can make breathing hard for anyone while they are outside. Doctors recommend that people with pre-existing heart conditions stay inside -- in air conditioning if possible -- and rest.

"The main effect is its an airway irritant, so it irritates the lower airways and causes them to spasm or contract, and it makes them smaller," said Dr. Cornelius Peeples  of St. Charles Medical Center-Bend said Sunday.

"You have to be careful, too, that especially asthma patients don't think that they can just keep using their medication over and over again," Peeples added. "If they get short of breath, they need to be seen by their doctor."

If you do feel that shortness of breath, are coughing or feel tightness in your chest, you should go to the emergency room or urgent care immediately. Doctors say you should not wait to see if it gets worse.

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