Wildfire smoke threatens firefighters and others at risk

The haze of wildfire smoke in the skies has become a common sight in late summer.  Dr. Coralynn Sack, a UW Medicine pulmonologist, says her patients complain of worsened symptoms when smoke is in the air. 

"The symptoms that we’re more worried about are shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest pressure – and those could indicate a more severe problem," she said.  At greater risk are people with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and people with cardiovascular disease.

Sack discusses how you can relieve those symptoms and why wildland firefighters are more at risk of decreased lung function. 

UW Medicine