Smoke Affects Patient Load
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 27, 2018
Smoke from wildfires burning in the western portion of the US have caused an increase in doctor visits in the Big Horn Basin.
The smoky haze that settled in over two weeks ago hasn’t let up, and an article in the Greybull Standard reports that the smoke-filled air has caused an increase in the patient load at both of the clinics in Big Horn County.
Both the Midway and Big Horn clinics have reported more people complaining of sinus problems, dry eyes, and the worsening of symptoms for people with lung conditions such as COPD and asthma.
Treatments vary according to each patient, but practitioners at both clinics have been monitoring and increasing some medications according to patients’ needs, as well as advising the use of nasal sprays and hydrating eyedrops.
Practitioners emphasize that anyone who has an increase in coughing, wheezing, chest discomfort, and difficulty in breathing should see their doctor as soon as possible. And athletes involved in outdoor sports are urged to practice indoors if possible, and not push themselves too hard. At-risk people who live closer to the smoke are advised to stay indoors as much as possible, close the windows and turn the air conditioner on, making sure the filter is clean.
According to a report released a week ago, 109 fires have burned more than 1.9 million acres nationally and more than 27,300 firefighters, support personnel, members of the National Guard and military soldiers have been involved in fighting the fires.