Doctor's advice: Health tips during the haze

Read up on a doctor's advice on Singapore haze and keeping the family healthy. In the event of the Singapore haze reaching hazardous levels, what can we do to keep our family safe? Here are 5 quick tips. Also learn about how the haze affects your body.

Singapore haze, health advise

The Singapore haze is past hazardous levels. Here’s what the doctor says to keep healthy.

Singapore haze past hazardous levels

It seems that the haze situation will not be clearing up as fast as we would like. It is essential that you keep your family safe at all times throughout this season of Singapore haze that has now reached hazardous levels .Here are some tips from the doctor.

As you may well know, the Singapore haze level has reached hazardous levels since 19 June. The PSI level has yet to improve. It has not gone down to “unhealthy levels”. In fact, at 12 pm today, the PSI levels soared to 401 according to readings by the National Environment Agency.

Singaporeans are suffering from the ill-effects of the haze. We can only do what we can to keep health damage to a minimum at this stage. It is essential that you keep your family safe and indoors as possible.

Singapore haze hazardous

Singapore haze is over hazardous levels at 401

PM Lee addressing the Singapore haze

PM Lee said, during his address to the press on the haze in Singapore, June 20:

“But our priority and my priority is to protect the health and safety of Singaporeans, and especially of the vulnerable groups like the young and the elderly and those who have heart or lung diseases, for example, asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). I think we can expect a higher incidence of respiratory diseases under these conditions; it happens every time, it’s natural, and our Ministry of Health (MOH) medical system, the doctors, the polyclinics, the hospitals, they’re all on alert and ready for this, to treat the patients.

So if anybody, if you fall ill or anybody you know falls ill and it’s a respiratory problem particularly, please see your doctor or your GP promptly. And if anybody needs financial help with their medical expenses, we will make sure that it’s available.”

Watch: Using an N95 mask

Bodily reaction to the Singapore haze

theAsianparent.com put up a poll survey to find out if our readers are affected by the haze on June 18 and here are the results:

health survey for haze

Readers responding to Singapore haze in a poll

Nose/airways/lungs: Since you are inhaling particles in the air, your body will attempt to secrete as much mucus as possible to flush out the foreign particles. Be prepared for your nose to be runny. Your airways and lungs will be affected as well, when breathing in the hazardous haze. As a result your airways may be inflamed. Coughing is a way that your body will react to expel the particles.

Skin: Your skin may also become irritated. Those with a history of eczema may experience a flare-up as the skin reacts by becoming itchy and inflamed. Apply moisturizers several times a day to protect your skin.

Eyes: The eyes will also be affected after being exposed to the haze for extended periods of time. Your eyes will tear naturally to clean itself. You can help by using preservative-free eye drops to remove the allergens.

Heart: Under the stress of inflamed airways and a multitude of other bodily irritations, your heart may pump faster thus possibly increasing your blood pressure.

Doctor says

Dr Muhammad Iqmal bin Abdullah, a general practitioner at Wan Medical Clinic located at Bedok, told the Asianparent.com:

The haze may aggravate a child’s existing medical condition (if any). If the child has a history of respiratory problems, allergic skin conditions or sinusitis, the child may be more vulnerable especially when the haze is bad. Do visit a doctor for further assessment of the child’s condition.  Here are some useful tips on keeping the family safe:

1. Stay indoors as far as possible.

2. Practice good hygiene such as washing of hands and face as soon as you step indoors.

3. Wear an appropriate mask when going outdoors (such as N95 mask, not the usual 3-ply mask) .

4. Reduce physical exertion, especially when outdoors. 

5. Consult a doctor if the child develops flu-like symptoms, flare ups of skin allergies, difficulty breathing etc. In general, children with asthma, pre-existing medical conditions must be closely watched during this period to ensure that medical attention is given as soon as possible.

For more info about Dr Muhammad Iqmal click here.