Can result in eye, nose, and throat irritation. People with history of sinus problems or sensitive nose are more likely to develop nasal congestion, sore throat and coughing. There may be increase incidents of skin irritations as well for those with eczema or other skin conditions.
Can range from respiratory conditions such asthma attacks and bronchitis to worsening of heart diseases such as heart attacks or heart failure. There have also
been suggestions that long term exposure to air pollution may give rise to increase risk of cancer.
During inhalation, particles and chemicals irritate the nose, which secretes mucus to flush out the particles. As more mucus is produced, the nasal passage becomes blocked and the nose swells.
The particles and chemicals can cause burning sensations, irritate the eye into tearing to clean itself and inflame the conjunctiva, the surface layer ont he white of the eyeball. Avoid wearing contact lenses and put a wrap-around glasses.
Airways and lungs
The particles may inflame the airways and the lungs as they travel downwards. The airways and lungs produce phlegm to try to get rid of the particles. The airways spasm to provoke a cough to expel the foreign matter.
With the nose and airways inflamed, the body is under stress and the heart pumps faster, increasing the blood pressure. The body also releases chemicals that make blood clot more easily and can cause a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.
Those with eczema may find it becoming itchy and inflamed. Using moisturiser three to four times a day can help protect the skin.
People with chronic diseases, especially serious ones such as heart and lung diseases, should stay indoors and avoid physical activity outdoors when the PSI hits about 80.