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Ways To Keep Clear Of The Haze

Ways To Keep Clear Of The Haze

haze.jpg

If we were to recall the major events in 2013, many will remember a PSI reading surpassing 400,
right here in our island city.

You may not have been sufficiently prepared then, but this article will give you a clearer picture of
haze and how to protect yourself against it.

Haze and its symptoms

Haze is an atmospheric condition where particles, smoke, dust and moisture suspend in the air
obscuring visibility.

When inhaled, these fine particles can cause irritation to the nose, throat, airways, skin and eyes.
You may sneeze, or have runny nose, irritated eyes , dry throat and dry cough after inhaling the air
pollutants.

These symptoms are usually mild if the haze is not severe and will subside when you stay indoors
and limit your exposure to haze.

Find out how you can relieve the following symptoms:

  • Irritation in the throat and dry cough
    • Drink sufficient water and suck on lozenges. Your pharmacist may recommend more
      effective cough mixtures and lozenges.
    • Consult a doctor if the cough persists for more than seven days, or is accompanied
      by thick, greenish phlegm and high fever.
  • Runny and blocked nose, and sneezing
    • Use anti-histamines and decongestants recommended by your pharmacist
  • Breathing difficulties
    • Consult your doctor immediately. Asthmatic patients should keep their inhalers
      handy and continue to take their prescribed medication regularly, as instructed.
  • Eye irritation and tearing
    • Use normal saline or artificial tears eye drops to rinse away irritants and pollutants
      in the eye

Who should take special precaution?

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions, especially lung
or heart disease, are more vulnerable to the ill effects of haze. They should take extra precaution,
stay indoors and minimise outdoor activities when PSI exceeds 100.

How to protect yourself against the haze

Follow these tips to keep yourself safe from the harmful effects of haze.

  • Pay attention the local air quality updates (i.e. PSI readings)
  • Minimise outdoor activities, especially outdoor sports
  • Close all windows, doors and any openings that may allow the particles to enter your home
    and office
  • Use an air purifier at home to keep the particulate levels low
  • Clean and service air conditioners regularly to ensure they are in good working conditions
  • Install an air-cleaning device if you are staying in a building with a central air conditioning
    system
  • Take your medication regularly if you are suffering from an existing disease, especially heart
    or respiratory disease
  • Limit or avoid smoking and using gas stoves, candles, incense or anything that burns indoors
  • Wear an N95 face mask when moving around outdoors under severe haze conditions
  • Consult a doctor if you feel unwell or nauseous with a severe headache and cough
  • Asthmatic patients should stay indoors at all times

N95 versus 3-ply

If you're undecided on which mask to get when the haze comes, read on to discover the difference
between the N95 and 3-ply masks.

N95 3-ply
95% effective in filtering out fine particles that
are 0.1 to 0.3 microns in size
Prevents the spread of water droplets and body
fluids
Not suitable for use on children or people with
facial hair (e.g. beards) as it is difficult to achieve
a proper fit
 
May be difficult to breathe when mask is worn  

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