I am a senior, how can smog affect my health?
- If you are a senior who suffers from heart disease or lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis, smog can make your symptoms worse
- Smog can decrease the lung’s working capacity. On a Smog Alert day, breathing can be more difficult. You may find your daily activities harder to do, and you may be more tired.
- Smog reduces the respiratory system’s ability to fight infections and remove foreign particles, increasing your risk of getting sick.
- Seniors may be less able to sense the presence of ozone, and may have a delayed response to the early warning signs of smog exposure such as breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, and tightness in the lungs and chest.
How do I protect my health on a smog alert day?
- Relax and take it easy. Avoid physical stress and activity.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor work or exercise.
- Stay indoors in a cool, well-ventilated place.
- If you must be outside, try to schedule your activities early in the morning when pollution levels are lowest.
- Avoid being outside around high traffic areas or during peak rush hour times to minimize your exposure to smog.
- Avoid the sun and drink water and natural juices frequently.
- If you experience symptoms such as tightness in your chest, wheezing, or shortness of breath, seek medical attention.
Adapted with permission, from the Smog Alert materials produced by the City of Toronto and by the Ontario Ministry of Health.