Lingering wildfire smoke causes health concerns - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Lingering wildfire smoke causes health concerns

Smoke from wildfires in the Panhandle air Smoke from wildfires in the Panhandle air
Dr. Patrick Kirkland with ER Now Dr. Patrick Kirkland with ER Now
Panhandle smoke has moved to the Lubbock area Panhandle smoke has moved to the Lubbock area
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

As if dealing with a wildfire isn't dangerous enough, the aftermath is also pretty bad. There have been four full days of fires in the Panhandle and as smoke remains in the area, so do health risks for those with respiratory problems. 

If you take a look outside, skies are a bit hazy and you can smell a difference in the air. For many of us, it's just a little uncomfortable to breath all that in but for those who are sensitive, it's even worse. 

"Any time you breathe anything other than just air, you do have the risk of having some breathing problems," said Dr. Patrick Kirkland with ER Now. "Particularly if you have any underlying lung diseases like COPD or asthma." 

The smoke can cause problems from stuffy noses to sinus issues and if smoke travels into your lungs, it can create an infection. 

"The longer they're exposed, the more problems they will have with their breathing," said Dr. Kirkland. 

This isn't just an issue for those living in the areas where wildfires happened. Winds have pushed some of our smoke miles away to Lubbock and other West Texas cities. 

Dr. Kirkland says the best thing anyone can do is avoid going outside as much as possible. 

"Try to stay in doors as much as possible that way your air conditioning system can filter out some of that air," said Dr. Kirkland. 

If you do have to go outside, you should wear masks to help protect the airways to the nose and mouth. Some other home treatments can be as simple as a hot shower or over the counter medicine.  

The good news is it seems like most of the smoke is moving out of the area but doctors still urge residents who have breathing issues to be careful. 

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