By Dr. Anu Siriwardana
Respiratory, sleep and General medical specialist
Australia is being affected by one of the most devastating bushfires seasons the country has seen. It has ravaged almost every state affecting humans, wildlife and natural habitat.
Bushfire smoke is a mixture of hazardous substances including different size particles, gases including carbon monoxide/dioxide and nitrogen oxide and water vapour. During a bushfire large amount of finer particles and gases are released to the atmosphere and breathing these smoke can cause significant adverse effects.
Large particles can irritate eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Small particles can penetrate into the lungs and worsen the lung and heart conditions.
Who are at risk?
What are the symptoms of smoke exposure?
Different individuals have different response to bushfire smoke exposure. Some will be very sensitive to smoke and some will tolerate lot more than others.
Even healthy individuals can experience significant respiratory symptoms if they get exposed to high levels of smoke
What are the steps to decrease the exposure to bush fire smoke?
Have a health plan
Where to get help?