Protect yourself against the haze

by | April 3, 2014

Q. With the haze, can you share some tips on how older adults can protect themselves?

  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities, especially when the PSI reading is above 50.
  • Keep doors and windows closed whenever possible, or invest in an air purifier machine.
  • Wear N95 mask when outdoors.
  • If you have a chronic condition, do not forget to take your daily medication and keep your asthma inhaler handy if you are asthmatic. Do visit your doctor before your medicine runs out to replenish them.


Q. What’s the difference between N95 and three-ply masks?

N95 masks effectively filter out 95 percent of fine pollutants that are between 0.1 and 0.3 microns in size, while three-ply masks are designed instead to block the spray of body fluids and water droplets from the mouth.


Q. What haze symptoms should older adults be aware of and how can they relieve them?

  • Any dry eyes and blurry vision due to the haze can be relieved by simple re-wetting with saline eye drops and eyewash.
  • Drink lots of water to flush down any haze particles in the throat and suck on simple lozenges to keep the throat moist.
  • Take a shower when reaching home from outside to avoid bringing the haze particles into the home.
  • Use your asthma inhaler immediately when you feel shortness of breath and an asthma attack coming on.
  • If you feel unwell or nauseated, do stop your activities and take a rest. If the symptoms persist after 30 minutes, do consult a doctor.
  • Sneezing and itchy nose can be relieved by antihistamines available from a pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist for a recommendation on the most appropriate one.

– Tan Wee Jin, assistant pharmacy practice manager, Guardian Health & Beauty



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