Everyone is aware that the dense pollution clouds over the American Northeast can lead to sore throats, coughing, and stinging eyes, but some people may also experience less well-known symptoms.
One of the bizarre warning signals that air pollution is affecting your health has been revealed by Dr. Gregory Wu, a critical care physician at Albany Medical Center in New York.
He claimed that smog can cause everything from difficulty sleeping to wrinkles and even cranky children when it injures the lungs and promotes inflammation.
About 50 million Americans still have air pollution warnings in the US as wildfires in Canada send smog to fill the air.
Dr. Wu told NBC news: ‘Even if you are healthy, you can feel the effects.
Smog coming through the US from Canadian wildfires can cause a host of unusual symptoms, including wrinkles, trouble sleeping, heart attacks and irritability in children
?We encourage people to seek help if they have chest pain or chest tightness.
“And likewise, if people have a headache or dizziness, that’s another good reason to seek help or at least go in.”
One of the main effects of smog that Dr. Wu mentioned was its ability to disrupt your sleep.
According to the Sleep Foundationfine particles of wildfire smoke can enter the blood and travel to the brain’s frontal cortex and cerebellum — the parts that control sleep — and disrupt it.
At the same time, the particles can also reduce the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen, meaning the heart has to work harder.
Conversely, this extra work can also make a person more tired, Dr. Wu said.
Another risk is that the smog can damage your skin and accelerate the development of wrinkles.
The particles penetrate the skin, triggering an immune response that causes inflammation.
This, in turn, can damage skin cells and cause them to lose their structure, increasing the risk of wrinkles.
A 2021 study in JAMA dermatology found that short-term exposure to this smoke can trigger flare-ups of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. These can appear even weeks later.
In addition, parents may need to pay extra attention to how their children deal with air quality. Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, a pulmonologist with the American Lung Association, said young children are more likely to be irritable, angry or moody than adults.
“The biological reason is not fully understood,” he said. ?When children are exposed to things that are poisonous, they tend to become irritable more easily.
‘It’s the same as with a respiratory virus. Maybe they can’t breathe very well or they’re just constipated.’
Too much exposure to smoke also increases the risk of a heart attack, scientists say.
While it’s not clear exactly why this happens, one theory is that the fine particles in wildfire smoke that are inhaled pass into the blood.
According to the American Heart Associationthose particles can constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure.
When blood vessels become clogged, oxygen can no longer flow to the heart. The heart muscle then has to work harder and weakens.
High blood pressure also weakens the arteries and causes them to clog.
Additionally, a 2020 study of the Journal of the American Heart Association found that exposure to heavy smoke from wildfires increased the risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by as much as 70 percent.
Dr. Galiatsatos advised staying indoors as much as possible to avoid symptoms. If you must go outside, wear a tight-fitting mask, such as an N95.
From bad sleep, wrinkles and irritable kids – the weird complications of air pollution exposure