Smoke can even irritate your ears

September 14, 2020

Smoke can even irritate your ears

While the most apparent symptoms of wildfire smoke are coughing, shortness of breath, sore throats, and red eyes, your ears can also become irritated.

Dr. Albert Merati, a UW Medicine otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon, reminds us that the ears, nose, and throat are connected. 

"The lining of the nose and ear particularly have a certain type of clearing mechanism that is very vulnerable in terms of its response to outside irritants, such as tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke, and profound exposure such as the environmental challenges we’re facing today with the smoke that’s in the air," Merati said.

Irritation in the middle ear or ear infection can emerge in the near future. Staying inside and avoiding exposure to unhealthy air is the best strategy, but Merati also suggested drinking plenty of water and rinsing your sinuses, especially for people who must be outside for their jobs.

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